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MACHILLAN ft CO.» Lonno 











Ail rights rtstrvtd 


COPTUOHT, 1922» 

bt the macmillan company. 

Set up and printed* Published August, 1922. 




r Tbxsx notes on Preaching and Sermon Construction are 

i an expansion of some lectures given to the students at Licb- 

' field Theological CoUege and to a School for Clergy. I could 

not have brought myself to publish them if it had not been for 
\ the encouragement and persistent persuasion of Prebendary 

L. A. Phillips, the Principcd, and the students of that College, 
to whom I offer this expansion in gratitude for their kind appre- 
ciation, which has conquered my hesitation. I suppose one's 
reluctance to publish anything on the subject springs chiefly 
from two facts: firstly, that a preacher has to cover such a 
wide range of subjects in following his calling that he can bring 
nothing to perfection, and therefore he has to publish studies 
which he knows are not yet complete or exhaustive; and, 
secondly, no preacher who is sincere can escape from the painful 
realization that the expression of his ideal is the confession of 
his failure. In nearly every word he condemns himself. 

But some such help as is attempted in this book seemed 
to be needed. Many brilliant and learned preachers have 
lectured on the Principles of Preaching. But few have come 
to the aid of the young parish priest in facing this most difScult 
part of his ministry, the actual construction of a sermon. Un- 
doubtedly many young clergy suffer much in their first efforts 
^ to construct a sermon, simply because no one has taught them 
V' the few rules which govern the technique of this art. In cases 
A where a preacher is so strong in self-confidence that he does 

not suffer at all, the suffering is generally borne by the congre- 
gation. It is in the hope of relieving such suffering in either 
case that I offer to young preachers a summary of that part of 
my experience which I may be able to communicate to others 
after tiiirty-four years' labor in this ministry. Every preacher 
will know that in preaching the Word of God there are joys 






and sorrows which cannot be communicated to others, or find 
expression in words. After a long ministry devoted to the 
conversion of souls, I may be allowed to express my conviction 
that the Supernatural is the essence of the Gospel, and that a 
firm belief in the Deity of Jesus Christ, the only-begotten 
Virgin-bom Son of Grod, is the only "Word" which by the power 
of the Holy Spirit can regenerate the human race, and redeem 
us from the power of sin. This belief alone gives redemptive 
power to the Cross of CSirist. There may be some intellectual 
satisfaction, but there is no redemptive power, in the modem 
substitutes for Christianity which "Modernism" offers us. 
What man needs is the Grospel of Power from on high, not 
merely the Gospel of a good Example. What God wants is 
not the patronage of our intellectual approval, but the entire 
surrender of our will. 

I cannot allow this summary of the experience of a lifetime 
to issue without acknowledging the deep debt of gratitude I 
owe to Bishop Charles Gore. Not only as a stimulating teacher 
who first inspired me with the love of truth and righteousness, 
but also as a faithful friend, I owe him more gratitude than I 
can express. 


House of the Resurrection^ 




Chaftsb I 



IxiSOIIlJCl'iOK ...•••.••••1 

I. ^WhAT n A PlOPHKT? . . h 1 

1. SensitivenesB to God S 

2. A Revelation of RighteouBoess S 

8. The InterpreUtion ot God's WUl 8 

II. — Prophet and Pbixit CoimARBD 4 

1. Personal and Official 4 

2. Dunamis and Exousia 6 

8. Individual and Corporate . 6 

4. Ethical and Dogmatic 6 

0. The Church of England 7 

6. Our Obligation as Priests 8 

7. The Need of Definite Teaching 9 

III. — ^Thixe Kinds of Tbachuto 10 

(A) Dogmatic Teaching 11 

I.~A Teaching Church 11 

II.— The Subject of Dogmatic Teaching . . .18 

III. — Considerations on Dogmatic Teaching 14 

1. Its Necessity: Our Lord's Command . 14 

2. The Needs of Man 14 

8. Temperamental Diiferences .14 

4. Growing Experience of Preachers . 15 

0. The Shield of Faith 19 

6. The Subjective Value of Dogmatic Teaching 17 

7. The Tone of Dogmatic Teaching _ • ^^ 

(i.) Authoritative . .19 

(U.) Persuasive 19 

(iii.) Qear 20 

8. The Dogmatic Spirit 20 

(B) Ethical Teaching 21 

1. Our Lord's Teaching 21 

2. The Ethical Teaching of the Church .... 28 
8. Some Characteristics of Christian Ethics . . . 24 

(i.) Supernatural 24 

(ii.) Pers<maUty 25 

(iii.) Freedom 25 

(iv.) Punishment and Reward .... 27 



III. — ^Three K1KD6 OF Teachiko (CofUiMied) — page 

(C) Expository Teaching— Ck^nBiderations: Diligent Study . 82 

1. Sdentiflc 88 

2. Unscientific 88 

8. The Bias of Presuppositions .... 88 

4. The Need of Tradition 84 

5. The Gains of True Criticism 86 

6. Expository Teaching 87 

Illusteative Mattes: 

A. — Extracts from the Report of the Archbishops' Committee on 

the Teaching Office of the Church 86 

B.— Dr. R. F. Hortons Extracts from "Verbum Dei" . .48 

C. — Outline Sermon on the Social Aspect of Christianity by Rev. 

Mark Guy Pearce 44 

D.— Apologetic Preaching: An Address by the Right Rev. W. C 

Magee. 47 

Chaftee II 


I. — ^The Need of ax Aim ■ , .51 

II. — Ikadequatb Ekds 51 

III. — ^The Heayeklt Places 58 

1. The Union of Corporate and Individual .... 58 

2. Absolute Values ^ . .58 

IV. — The Sacbamektal Prikcifle 54 

V. — A Twofold Message 55 

VI. — The Gosfel of the Kingdom 56 

VII. — ^The Gosfel of the Kiko 59 

1. An Inadequate Conception of Christ .60 

2. The Essence of the Gospel 61 

8. Believing in Qirist 62 

4. The Method of Concentric Circles 62 

(1.) The Cosmic 68 

(U.) The Historical 64 

(iU.) The Ecclesiastical 64 

(iv.) The Sacramental 65 

(v.) The Mystical 66 

Illustrative Matter: 
Extract from the "Aim of Preaching,** by Behrends . .68 

Chafter III 



III. — C0K8I8TXKCT OF Life 75 



IV. — HiTMiUTr AKO PBjrnEirci 76 

V. — Dmvanox to ths TsfrrB 78 

VI. — CoKMirinoir with Goo 81 

1. Holy Fear 81 

2. The Love of God 85 

8. Recc^ection 86 

4. Prayer 88 

VII.— The Holt SACiincB 99 

1. The At-one-ment 88 

2. Pentecoet 94 

8. Historical and Mystical 94 

4. The Proportion of the Faith 95 

VIII. — DniOKKT Studt » ... 96 

1. Mental Discipline 97 

2. The Subjects of Study 99 

(i.) The Bible 99 

(ii.) History 100 

(ilL) Church Teaching 100 

(iv.) Science 100 

(v.) PWlosophy 101 

IixuRKATiTx MAnmt 
Extracts from ''On Meditation," by Dr. Horton .108 

Chafieb IV 



Tbx Use akd Axubb or ▲ Schzkb . • 106 

Thk Maxiito or ax Ouruys 109 

I. — Rbause Youe AusiBircs 109 

1. Who wiU be Present at this SerriceP . .110 

2. What is Their Manner of Life? 110 

8. What are Their Needs? 110 

II. — ^Tbb Choice or a Svbject Ill 

1. Rules Ill 

2. Courses of Instruction 118 

& The Way ot Life 115 

4. The Need of Instruction 116 

III. — ^AccuMVLAVE YouB Matbbial 117 

Rules for Accumulating Material 117 

IV. — BfEDiTAiE oir the Subject 119 

1. The Use of Schemes 119 

(A) A Logical Scheme 120 

(B) A Sdieme for Recommending a Virtue . . 121 

(C) A Scheme for Historical Subjects . , .122 


V. — Wbite Dowx toub Object 128 

.' VI. — Dkcidk thb Divibioks 125 

Rules for Divisions 125 

(i.) Division by a Text— All Saints' Day . . .126 
(ii.) Divisions by Reference to God, our Ndghbor, and 

Ourselves — Christmas 126 

(iii.) Divisions by the Divine Perfection . .126 

(iv.) Divisions by Body and Soul . .127 

(v.) Divisions by the Past, the Present, and the Future 127 

(vi.) Divisions by Succession 128 

(vii.) Division by Concentration 128 

VII. — Make a Rough Sketch 129 

1. Unity of View 129 

2. Unity of Means 180 

VIII. — Pbepaee the Lutks 181 

IX* — ^Division, Poims, aitd Lutks 181 

' X. — Wrttb the CoxcLunoir 185 

: XI.— Choose a Text 188 

XII. — ^Wbitb the IvTBODncnox 140 

XIII. — Review, Euiqkate, aito Reject 146 

XIV. — ^Wbite OB Possess the Whole 147 


A. — ^A Sermon in the Making 149 

B. — ^A Sermon Model 167 

C— The Purification of S. Mary the Virgin 159 

Chaptbe V 


The Developheitt or the Sebmoit 168 

I. — The Thbbe Pbikcifles op Obatobt 168 

II. — IirsiBircnvE Pbeachiito 170 

III. — Rules f(» Ikbtbitctiox 176 

1. Study the Art of Teaching 176 

2. Learn Method 176 

8. Catechize 176 

4. Clarity 176 

5. Stimulation 177 

6. Repetition 177 

7. Schemes 178 

8. Choice of Ideas . . 178 

9. The Use of Amplifications 179 

10. Narration and Explanation 179 

DiAixcnc OB Abouxevtatiok 179 

I. — RsASoir Avn RcAsoirivo 180 


II. — PUflUPPosmowB 182 

III. — Rules for the SELEcnoir of ABouirEim .... 184 
IV. — Methods of Aeovmbktatiok 185 

V. — Abeakoemekt of AmavvjtvTB 185 

VI. — AiEFuncATioys 186 

VII. — Refctatioit 188 

1. Yoar Aim 18^ 

2. Classification 189 

8. Examination of Objections 190 

4. Roles for Refutation 191 

Illurbatevs MAnxa: 
Dr. Bigg: The Trials and Blessings of a Scholar's life*' . .198 



I. — The Pstcholoot of PusvAsioir 195 

1. The Wm 195 

2. Instincts and Emotions 196 

8. The Mental Process 197 

4. Motive 198 

II.— Obstacles to Feesuasiok 200 

1. Misunderstanding .200 

2. Prejudices 201 

(A) Good Prejudices 201 

(i.) Devotion to the Bible 202 

(ii.) Experience of Spiritual Blessings . . '208 

(B) Bad Prejudices 208 

(i.) Falsehood .208 

(ii.) Instinctive 204 

(iii.) Due to some Mistaken Conception . . . 204 

. (iv.) Due to an Evil Life 206 

(v.) General Notes 206 

(1) The Fixed Idea - . .206 

(2) The Preacher's Prejudice . .207 
8. Rules for Persuasion 209 

III. — Pasbiok AiTD Emotiok 211 

1. Thought or Peeling 218 

2. The Preacher's Feelings 214 

8. Temperament of the Audience 215 

4w Alternation 216 

5. Rules for exdting Passion and Emotion .... 218 

(i.) Love God 218 

(ii.) Love Man 218 

(iii.) Be Moved Yourself 219 

(iv.) Consider the Subject 219 


(▼.) Methods of Awakening Emotion .... 830 

(▼i) The Discipline of Emotion 821 

(vil.) The Peril of the Emotions 822 

IixusntAiiTX Matixe: 

A. — Spartacus: The Appeal to the Passions 285 

B. — Analysis of Mr. Lloyd George's Coal Speedi, July 80, 1915 . 888 
C. — A Free Analysis of P^re Lacordaire's Sermon on '^e Life of 

the Passions** 880 

D.— Extracts from **The PSschology of Peoples,** Book IV., Chap I., 

by Gustave le Bon 884 



I. — ^Thb Usb A2n> Abubb op Woum 

1. Words Manifest Character 888 

8. The Nature of a Word 889 

8. The Misuse of Words 841 

8. The Nature of a Word ....... 889 

8. The Misuse of a Word 841 

4. The Use of Words 848 

II. — Style : Rules foe Foexiko a Good aitd Useful Sms iv 

Pebachiko 845 

1. The Arrangement of Words 845 

8. Form Your own Style 845 

8. Take Pains to Find the Right Word 845 

4. The Marks of a Good Style 846 

5. Attend to the Law of Rhythm 848 

6. Our Style Should be Forcible 848 

7. Cultivate Variety of Style and of Pace .848 

8. Mistakes to be Avoided 849 

(i.) Avoid Long Sentences 849 

(ii.) Avoid Difficult Words 850 

(iii.) Avoid a Flamboyant Style 850 

(iv.) Avoid both Exaggeration and Excessive Caution • 250 
(v.) Parallelism, Refrain, Repetition, and Paradox . 858 

(vi.) Use Frequent Questions 858 

(vil.) On Occasions be Expansive 854 

(viii.) Beware of Mixed Metaphors 855 

Illubieativb MAim: 

A. — Bishop Dupanloap 855 

B. — F^nelon's Estimate of Cicero and Demosthenes . 856 
C— John Henry Newman on The Poet 858 

III. — Illusteatiovs 858 

1. The Imagination 859 

8. Rules for Illustration and Anecdote 860 

(i.) Train Your Imagination 860 

(ii.) Illustrations Should be Frequent . .861 

(iii.) Proceed from the Known to the Unknown . . 861 
(iv.) They Should be Carefully Chosen . . .868 


(v.) They Should be Carefully Developed . .268 

(vi.) Anecdote should be Based on Fact . 268 

(▼ii.) They Should be Probable 268 

(viii.) Keep a Preacher's Noteboc^ .264 

IV. — Thb Dblivket of thx Skikoh 267 

V. — ^Ruixi FOB Dkuvxrt . . 5 269 

1. Lose Your Self-Consciousness 269 

2. Speak with Unction 269 

8. Form a Habit of Clear Enunciation 270 

4. Use Appropriate Gesticulation 271 

5. Make a Right Use of Your Voice 271 

VI.— Dblhtot 272 

Illvbi&asivs MAnsa: 

A.— To Illustrate the Expansion of a Thought: Scott Holland on 

•T*hc Underworld of Belief* 274 

B.— Plotinus on Beauty 275 

C. — ^To Illustrate Misuse of Language 276 

Chaftke viii 

I. — ^Thb Static aitd ths Dtitakic 277 


III. — Skctioxal AimasBSES 278 

IV. — Th« Sexual Ivrrofcr 280 

V. — IimncTioir oh Sixval Mattbis akd MAxmiAOE . 286 
VI.— FomiTT 288 

1. The Physical Change 288 

2. The Psychic Change 289 

VII.— GiirxiAL Notes 292 

1. New Factors 292 

2. Addresses to Women 298 

a Elder Boys and Girls 294 

4. Conferences 295 

6. The Need of Qualified Teachers 297 

6. Social Subjects 298 

7. Notes on Addresses to Men 801 

IixoflimATiTS Matrb: 

A.— The Psychology of Boys 808 

B.— Dialogues 804 

C— llie Leeds Lads' Crusade 804 

CoircLiTiioir 818 

Ivm 818 

Preaching and Sermon 





Ik considering our responsibilities as men whom God has 
chosen to be His messengers and the stewards of His mys- 
steries, to whom He has entrusted the Word of Life, it may be 
useful to note that there are three aspects of religion — ^the in- 
stitutional, the ethical, and the mystical. These three corre- 
spond, roughly speaking, with the common division of man's 
nature into body, soul, and spirit, and with the threefold 
nature of our office — the priestly, the prophetic, and the per- 
sonal aspect of our ministry. I shall hope to show that it is a 
disaster to religion when the office of prophet and priest become 
detached, and that as they found their perfect imion in the 
Person of our Lord and Master Jesus Christ, so it is our duty 
to Him who entrusts us with His divine commission to try 
to fulfill faithfully both the prophetic and priestly aspect of 
our ministry. 


There were prophets in practically every form of ancient 
religion, and it is impossible to give an adequate summary of 
this activity of the soul, which embraces every form of spir- 
itual energy, from the medicine man of a South African tribe 
to the statesman of a modem world-wide Empire, from the sec- 
ond-sight of a psychically sensitive soul to the spiritual illumi- 
nation of some devout scholar in modem times. All we can 


do is to sketch some outline of the developments of the pro- 
phetic office in our holy religion and summarize s<mie of the 
characteristics of the prophetic spirit. 

The prophet was first called a **jBeer," a person who had 
what we sometimes call second-sight, or clairvoyance, who could 
see more than his neighbors of those forces which work behind 
the veil of the outward form of things — a psychic person who 
was especially sensitive to unseen influmces, good or bad. ^^All 
forms of unusual behavior such as frenzy, madness, ecstasy, 
epilepsy, hysteria, together with dreams, hallucinations, vi- 
sions, and auditions were always ascribed to the visitation of 
some unseen spirit*' (Hamilton, ^^Discovery and Revelation,'* 
p. 70). 

1. SsKsmvENEss TO 6oj>. — ^From the ecstasy of Balaam 
to the vision of S. Paul we may take sensitiveness to Ood as 
one leading characteristic of the prophet. 

Num. xxiv. 8: *'T1ie man whose eye is opened saith: 
He saith, that heareth the words of God, 
Which seeth the vision of the Almighty, 
Falling down, and having his eyes open:" 

is the first full description of sensitiveness to the Voice and 
the Vision which is not of man. 

And the message of Ananias to S. Paul is the fullest reali- 
zation of the prophetic spirit: 

Acts xxii. 14: ^^The Gtul of our Fathers hath ap- 
pointed thee to know His will, and to see the Righteous 
One, and to hear a voice from His mouth." 

Between these two descriptions of the prophetic spirit lies 
the whole range of its development, from the ecstasy of a 
sensitive soul in vague intuitions, to the Gt>d-illuminated reason 
of an inspired spirit. 

At first the prophet's personality had little to do with 
his message. The man is ^^possessed by Gt>d." He is ^^filled 
with Deity," as now the Hindus say of a fakir in a fit, ^'He is 
full of Grod." Then as the ethical content of revelation devel- 
oped, moral response became necessary in the prophet. 

£. A Rbvsi«ation of Righteousness. — ^A new element 
appears in Hebrew prophets, which differentiates them from 


the prophets of the surrounding nations, the ethical element — 
the revelation of Righteousness infoolving comcious will as well 
as feeling and emotion. They had the same mental presup- 
position as to the nature of the universe as the false prophets, 
the same experience of intense emotion, the same methods o| 
appeal.^ But there was a moral element in Jewish prophecy 
which was lacking in others, the proclamation that God is holy, 
and requires righteousness from His people. This conviction 
was not derived from reflection on the facts of existence, nor 
from the study of history; it could not have been due to the 
sudden uprising of impressions which had been stored un- 
noticed in the prophet's subconscious mind, for there is nothing 
in nature, or in their own history, or that of the neighboring 
tribes, to suggest it. **The Hebrew prophets were brought 
up in the polytheistic atmosphere, surrounded on all sides by 
people who were convinced polytheists; they shared all those 
beliefs about the natural world and its constitution which were 
characteristic of the polytheistic stage of culture — ^in fact, 
there must have been a hundred influences playing upon their 
daily lives which would suggest to their subconscious minds 
that polytheism was a grim and stem reality. Yet as a result 
of certain religious experiences they were convinced that there 
was but one Holy and Almighty God. Clearly these could not 
have been so many more instances of an ^uprush' from the 
subconscious. There must have been some additional factor 
at work here'* (Hamilton, **Discovcry and Revelation," p. 
147). We are driven by the evidence of history to believe that 
Grod was unveiling His character, revealing Himself to cer- 
tain chosen souls in an elect nation which should be the school 
of the knowledge of God for all the nations of the worid. 

8. The Inteepketation ov God's W11.1.. — ^The prophet 
has not only to see and know the character of God. He has to 
interpret the Vision, and show what God requires of His chosen 
people. And this often involves a detachment from the 
accepted standards of those around us which is hard to attain, 
and a spiritual loneliness which is hard to bear. ^*For the 
prophets were in no sense popular leaders. In their frequent 
opposition to the patriotism of the day and to the favorite 

*FdU0 ProphBt9 (Jer. xsdii. 16): They teach yoa vanity: they speak 
a ^pMor of thdr own heart and not out of the mouth of the Lord." 


cult, they provoked rather anger than sympathy. Their relig- 
ious eagerness for social morality led them to denounce the 
oppression of the poor, because it was the most flagrant in- 
iquity of the age. Their invectives against luxury and debauch- 
ery were due to the fact that these were often co-ordinated 
with cruelty and vice, or seemed the consequence of that cold 
indifference to spiritual and divine agencies, or of that reckless 
and material temperament which to Isaiah and the prophets 
generally was the completest type of enmity to Yahveh and 
His religion. It is for this reason that judgment must fall 
with special vehemence upon the class of rich oppressors and 
boastful scoffers, so that the day might dawn Vhen the humble 
shall obtain fresh joy in Yahveh, and the poor among men 
shall exalt in the Holy One of Israel*" (Isa. xxix. 19). — 
Claud Montefiore, ^^Origin and Growth of Religion," chap, 
ix., p. 16S. 

The interpretation of the will of God naturally falls under 
two aspects — (a) His general mind or purpose for the normal 
development of man's life; (b) the special meaning of abnormal 
events in times of crisis or judgment. The first demands some 
simple philosophy of life and clear ideals, such as are expressed 
in those summaries of our duty to God and man in the Church's 
Catechism. The second demands some knowledge of affairs 
and of God's revelation of His will in history. It will be seen 
that if we are to be faithful to our calling as prophets of 
God who are sensitive to the movements of His Spirit and 
have a burning zeal for righteousness and desire rightly to 
interpret His will, the first requisite is that we shall learn to 
be men of prayer, who by constant intercourse with Him in 
communion and meditation form the habit of faith which is 
the instinctive reference of all things to God, who grow day 
by day more and more to see as He sees, until at last the mind 
of Christ is formed within us, and we habitually think the 
thoughts of Grod. 


1. Personal and Official. — The prophet before all 
things is an impassioned seer of spiritual truth and a preacher 
of religion. The vocation is personal, not official. The occa- 
sion of its exercise is abnormal, not normal. 


The edification or building up of a godly character in 
normal everyday life belongs to the teaching office of the priest. 

The prophet is to be found, and should be found, in every 
class and in every profession, among statesmen, social reform- 
ers, ploughmen, and clergy. 

The priest is a member of an order of men especially 
chosen to be the official guardians and teachers of the Church's 
corporate Faith. 

The prophet speaks with the passion of his own individual 
experience of the Truth. 

The priest speaks with the authority of the corporate 
experience of the Church. 

The prophet appeals to the conscience of the man as 

The priest appeals to the conscience of one who owes obe- 
dience and loyalty to the Church, the Body of Christ. 

S. "DuNAMis" AND "ExousiA." — ^It is a disaster when 
these two teaching functions become separated — ^when the 
prophet, intoxicated by the flame which bums within him, dis- 
regards the restraint of discipline, and rushes headlong into 
fanaticism; while the priest, absorbed in the accurate render- 
ing of creed and ceremonial, sinks down into a dead formalism. 

Dunamis, spiritual power, unrestrained by authority, 
swiftly degenerates into the anarchy of Protestantism. 

Exousia^ authority, uninspired by spiritual power, quickly 
petrifies into the despotism of Papacy. Is it not the divorce 
of power from authority and authority from power which has 
been the cause of the divisions of Christendom, and does not 
our hope of reunion of Christendom lie in the feeling that each 
needs the other? The Nonconformist minister who will allow 
his prophetic enthusiasm to be disciplined while it is recognized 
by Episcopal Ordination, and the priest who insists on winning 
for himself the personal experience of the truth he teaches in 
the Church's name and by her authority — these, uniting evan- 
gelical zeal to Catholic discipline, will most nearly approach 
to the fulfillment of their Divine commission. For does not 
Christ unite in His own Person the Prophet and the Priest? 
Is He not the Way, the Truth, and the Life? And must not 
His minister try to unite in himself the personal experience of 
the Truth with the corporate authority of the Church? 

S. iNPrvtDUAL AND CORPORATE. — So whilc as prophets 


we shall by prayer and meditation try to grow into an ever 
closer union with the heart and mind and will of God, we 
shall as priests by prayerful and patient study try to preserve 
and hand on the great tradition of the Apostles' teaching in 
the Apostles' Fellowship. As prophets we speak from the 
depths of personal experience. As priests we speak with the 
authority of a corporate Faith. We are most solemnly com- 
missioned by the Church to speak in her name, and this in- 
volves the patient study of her teaching and faithful proc- 
lamation of the Gospel as the Church has received it. If we 
relied merely on personal experience, our preaching would be 
wanting in proportion. As prophets we have in word and deed 
to reveal the character of God, His heart and mind and will. 
We have to educate in ourselves and proclaim to others a 
profound sense of God's righteousness and justice and im- 
partial love; to form a habit of mind and conversation which 
loves the good and loathes the evil, which champions what is 
right and just and true, and springs at once to arms to chal- 
lenge what is unjust or unrighteous or false. We are false 
prophets if from apathy or self-interest we fear or fail to de- 
nounce what is evil. *^0 ye that love the Lord, see that ye hate 
the thing that is evil" (Ps. xcvii. 10). 

4. Ethicai. 5^nd Dogmatic. — ^As prophets we have to in- 
terpret the win of God both in the permanent relationship of 
normal life such as marriage, family life, honesty in trade and 
commerce, and also in the occasional abnormal crises, such as 
strikes, agitation for divorce, and the moral issues which arose 
out of the war. In thus interpreting the will of God we are 
forming, educating, and enlightening the conscience and char- 
acter of man. The moral tone of a parish, the spirit with 
which they meet new questions, the first instinctive judgment 
they pass in some unexpected crisis, the presuppositions which 
lie behind particular judgments and decisions, the inhibitions 
which rule out without hesitation or discussion certain lines 
of conduct — all these habits of mind can be much affected by 
the faithful discharge of our duty as prophets. The moral 
judgment is slowly built up by the thoughts in which a man 
habitually indulges. What we tJUnk, that we are. And we 
become what we go on thinking. **The soul is dyed the color of 
its thoughts." It is, then, a great responsibility to be allowed 
once or twice a week an opportunity of contributing to the 


tone or moral judgment of a community thoughts which may 
bear fruits in fashioning the conscience and character of those 
who hear. This point will be further expounded when we come 
to speak of ethical sermons. 

But now let us consider our responsibilities as priests of 
the Catholic Church. 

6. The Church op England. — ^First we must fuUy real- 
ize the obligations which are binding on us by virtue of our 
status as priests whom the Church has called and ordained to 
this office. Let us see what our priesthood involves. It is to 
be noted that there is no validity in the claim which is some- 
times made that the Church of England is an entity in itself 
apart from the rest of Christendom. This is a modem heresy 
which tends toward jschism, and which should be met with 
most determined opposition. In my judgment, this attempt 
to make the Church of England into a separate entity is false 
to history and is refuted by an appeal to our formularies. 

We were not baptized into the Church of England, but 
were "received into the Congregation of Christ's flock.** 

We do not pray on any single occasion for the Church of 
England. We pray always and everywhere for "the good 
estate of the Catholic Church,** for "the whole state of Christ*8 
Church Militant here on earth.** 

We do not profess our belief in the Church of England, but 
in "One Catholic and Apostolic Church.** 

We are not ordained as a deacon in the Church of Eng- 
land, but it was said to us: "Take thou authority to execute 
the office of a deacon in the Church of God committed unto 
thee,** "to read the Gospel in the Church of God.'* 

We are not ordained as priests in the Church of England, 
but it was said to us: "Receive the Holy Spirit for the office 
and work of a priest in the Church of God.** 

In the Preface of our Book of Common Prayer we are 
warned against alterations which secretly strike "at some 
established doctrine or laudable practice of the Church of 
England, or indeed of the whole Catholic Church of Christ.'* 
Our order of prayer is said to be "much agreeable to the mind 
and purpose of the old Fathers." 

The position shown in our formularies is not that the Church 
of England is a separate entity, with some special doctrine 
of its own apart from the rest of Christendom, but that we are 


a part of the Holy Catholic Church universal, two provinces 
of the Catholic Church which give a national expression to 
the Catholic Faith. This is important, for it reminds us that 
in any point which is of doubtful interpretation and on any 
point which is left open it is not merely our privilege, but, 
more than that, it is our duty to follow the guidance of the 
Catholic tradition. This point will be the more convincing if 
we remember that at the Reformation those priests who first 
used our Book of Common Prayer had been educated and 
trained to think and speak in the terms of the Catholic tradi- 
tion. So we shall emphatically repudiate the idea that the 
Church of England has any special doctrine of its own. It 
appeals from Papal perversion to the Catholic tradition of 
more primitive times. It claims to be the national expression 
of the one universal Faith. 

6. OuB Obligation as Pbiests. — But, secondly, we pro- 
fessed to be truly called ^^according to the will of our Lord 
Jesus Christ, and the order of the Church of England, to the 
Order and Ministry of Priesthood.** We solemnly vowed al- 
ways so to ^^minister the Doctrine and Sacraments and Disci- 
pline of Christ, as the Lord hath commanded, and as this 
Church and Realm hath received the same." 

In other words, we accepted the Church of England inter- 
pretation of the Catholic tradition as in harmony with the 
commandment of the Lord. 

Now when we in the most solemn manner, by a most sacred 
vow, undertake this obligation, we deliberately place a limit on 
our freedom of utterance which we are bound by every con- 
sideration of honor faithfully to observe. If anything could 
add to the binding force of this obligation it would be the 
fact that we were not compelled to undertake this office: we 
volunteered for it of our own free will. As priests of the Cath- 
olic Church licensed to exercise our ministry in the Church of 
England you are bound by these obligations interpreted in a 
Catholic sense — 

1. To instruct the people in the Scriptures. 

S. To teach nothing as required of necessity to eternal 
salvation but that which you shall be persuaded may 
be concluded and proved by the Scriptures. 

S. To teach the people committed to your Cure and 


Charge with all diligence to keep and observe "the Doc- 
trine and Sacraments and Discipline of Christ, as the 
Lord hath commanded, and as this Church and Realm 
hath received the same." 

4. To banish and drive away all erroneous and strange 
doctrines contrary to God's word, and to use both 
public and private monitions and exhortations, as well 
to the sick as to the whole, within your Cure, as need 
shall require and occasion shall be given. 

5. To be diligent in prayer, and in reading of the Holy 
Scriptures, and in such studies as help to the knowledge 
of the same, laying aside the study of the world and 
the flesh. 

7. The Need op DsFiNrrE Teaching. — ^The Jews lost 
touch with God when "for long seasons Israel hath been with- 
out the true God, and without a teaching priest, and without 
the law" (2 Chron. xv. 8). Does not this apply fully to Eng- 
land at the present time? There is an intense desire for 
religion and a strong ethical atmosphere which gives to duty 
and to love and kindness a high place in the motives which 
control life. But while this ethical enthusiasm undoubtedly 
owes its strength to Christian teaching in the past, it seems 
probable that we are living on our spiritual capital, and are 
losing hold on those supernatural beliefs which inspired and 
gave vitality to our ethics. 

"The Church has stood for many things in the life of the 
country — for poor relief, for kindly sympathy in trouble, for 
energetic work among the young — but it has not always stood 
out in the eyes of the people as the great witness to the Super- 
natural" (Church Times, December 17, 1916). 

The summary of the answers of one thousand two hun- 
dred chaplains to questions addressed to them bears witness 
to the fact that about 90 per cent, of the men of our nation 
who claim to be members of the Church of England know 
nothing whatever about the doctrine and discipline of the 

The Report says: "The men with whom the chaplains are 
in contact simply do not know the very elementary truths of 
the Christian i«ligion. The epithets they employ to describe 
this ignorance exhaust the vocabulary — 'abysmal,' 'appalling,' 


^surprising/ ^amazing,' etc. Here is a characteristic verdict. 
^Everyone must be struck with the appalling ignorance of the 
simplest religious truths. Probably 80 per cent, of these men 
from the Midlands have never heard of the Sacraments. The 
meaning of God, Sin, Repentance, Grace, Forgiveness, Bap- 
tism, Confirmation are hardly known by the great mass of 
them.' There is scarcely a reply out of the hundreds received 
which does not place this first. It is not only that the men 
do not know the meaning of ^Church of England': they are 
ignorant of the historical facts of the life of our Lord. And 
this applies all round, to officers and men alike" ('^Report on 
the Chaplains' Replies," p. 8). 

The secularization of at least half of our elementary schools 
will account for much of this ignorance. But in view of 
accumulating evidence of almost universal ignorance we should 
realize that our teaching of the truths of religion and the 
doctrine of the Church has been utterly inadequate and in- 
effectual. As priests to whom has been entrusted the Teach- 
ing Ofiice of the Church our duty is twofold. "On the one 
hand, the Church's function is to set forth the truth of the 
divine revelation consummated in Christ as contained in the 
Scriptures, and as interpreted and evolved in the past. It has 
the duty of preserving and handing on to future generations a 
message of Divine origin and of transcendent importance for 
the well-being of the human race. This message is variously 
described as the Gospel of Christ, the Word of God, the Faith 
of the Church. On the other hand, it has the duty of inter- 
preting the Gt)spel for each generation ; of expressing it in the 
thought and language of the times and in the light of advanc- 
ing knowledge, and of presenting it to the world as a living 
faith" (Report on the Teaching Office of the Church," 

p. «). 

It must be our aim so to discharge our twofold ministry 
which we have received from the Lord Jesus as to be worthy 
with S. Paul to say "I am pure from the blood of all men. 
For I shrank not from declaring unto you the whole counsel 
of God." 


Now that we have tried to realize the necessity of a Chris- 
tian minister combining in himself both the functions of a 


prophet and of a priest, we may proceed to classify parochial 
teaching roughly under the following headings: (A) Dogmatic; 
(B) Ethical; (C) Expository. There are many other classes 
of sermons, such as apologetic and sectional addresses, which 
will receive separate treatment. But these first three will 
cover the normal course of parochial preaching, and this is 
the aspect of preaching which is kept steadily in view through- 
out this book. 

But here, as always when we apply classification to spir- 
itual affairs, we must carefully note that such classification is 
only a matter of emphasis ; it must never be exclusive. Nearly 
all the mistakes of the scientific method arise from this, that 
men of science work by abstraction, and then mistake the rela- 
tive truth of their abstraction for the absolute truth of the 
whole. They make a legitimate abstraction for the purpose 
of study, because the field of knowledge is too vast to be 
covered by a single mind, and then, without any justification 
whatever, they apply their conclusions to the whole of life. 
We must learn to avoid this disastrous mistake. In dealing 
with personality if we use classification at all we must beware 
of using it in any exclusive sense. We must learn to distin- 
guish without dividing, to emphasize one aspect of the truth 
without ignoring others. Every dogmatic sermon has its eth- 
ical implications. Every ethical sermon is based on dogma. 
Every expository sermon will include both ethics and dogma. 
For God is One, and in union with Him man attains his unifi- 
cation. This is the Atonemekt. 

(A) Dogmatic Teachiko 

/. — A Teaching Church 

God is not merely an Idea. He is also Energy. He is 
not merely the Vision of Eternal Beauty. He is a Person 
Who commimicates Himself by revelation and inspiration, by 
unveiling and inbreathing. Christ did not leave His grace 
and truth to the chance survival of written records. He 
formed a Fellowship of Spirit-bearing men and women, the 
Holy Catholic Church, to whom He committed Himself and 
through whom He continues to do and to teach. He did not 
form a psychological research society for the discovery of the 


Truth, nor a debating society for the discussion of the Truth, 
nor a Bible society for the dissemination of the Truth. He 
formed a teaching society for the preservation and the propa- 
gation of the Truth, and He commissioned it to live by His 
life, to work by His power, and to teach in His name. The 
Truth is also the way and the Life. Christianity is not a phi- 
losophy to be discussed or a problem to be solved, but a Life 
to be lived and a Person to be loved. This will give the char- 
acteristic note to Christian "dogma" (i.^., "teaching"). It is 
supernatural. It is not the loftiest flight of human specula- 
tion, nor the irresistible conclusion of a logical syllogism, nor 
the assured result of mathematical demonstration. It is a 
gift from God — a divine bestowal. It is personal. Christian 
dogma is the summary of an experience, the experience of a 
Person and a Life. "That which was from the beginning, 
that which we have heard, that which we have seen with our 
eyes, that which we beheld, and our hands handled, concern- 
ing the Word of Life (and the life was manifested, and we 
have seen, and bear witness, and declare unto you the life, 
the eternal life, which was with the Father, and was mani- 
fested unto us) ; that which we have seen and heard declare 
we unto you also, that ye also may have fellowship with us: 
yea, and our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son 
Jesus Christ" (IS. John i. 1). 

In these words we have the keynote of Christian dogma, 
the teaching of an experience which includes facts (i.^., things 
done), truths (things perceived), and values (judgments 
formed) . 

This experience of a revelation is a witness which cannot 
be changed. In its mystical aspect it may, and should, be 
verified in the personal experience of everyone who accepts it 
on authority. It expands and energizes in its course down 
the ages as it meets and illuminates and resolves the problems 
of life. But it cannot be altered or changed because the con- 
ditions of the experiment, the seeing and hearing our Lord in 
His life on earth, have passed away. Men may refuse to give 
credence to the facts, or believe the truths, or accept the 
values. If so, they remain outside the Fellowship, to their loss 
and ours. But if they accept the witness on authority, and 
enter the Fellowship, then will come the verification of per- 
soiwJ experience. 


//. — The Subject of Dogmatic Teaching 

Since our Lord Whom we preach is the Way, the Truth, 
and the Life, the Church's teaching will include a way of life, 
a confession of Faith, and the means of grace ; or as it is ex- 
pressed in the vow of a priest at his ordination, '^always so to 
minister the Doctrine and Sacraments and Discipline of Christ, 
as the Lord hath commanded, and as this Church and Realm 
hath received the same, according to the Commandments of 
God: so that you may teach the people committed to your 
Cure and Charge with all diligence to keep and observe the 
same." It wiD be noted that this strictly preserves the spirit 
and the letter of our Lord's commission to His Church: ^'All 
authority hath been given unto Me in heaven and on earth. 
Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptiz- 
ing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of 
the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatso- 
ever I command you: and lo, I am with you all the days, 
even unto the end of the world" (S. Matt, xxviii. 18). This 
commission finds its full exemplification both in the Acts of 
the Apostles and in S. Paul's Epistles. Our Bible preserves for 
us this three-fold witness to a Church which claimed authority 
to administer sacraments, to teach, and to exercise discipline, 
in our Lord's name and by His authority. We may say, then, 
that the subjects of dogmatic teaching are the Doctrine and 
the Discipline, the Sacraments and the Worship of the Church: 
*^they continued steadfastly in the Apostles' teaching and fel- 
lowship, in the breaking of bread and the prayers" (Acts ii. 
422). Its basis will be the Creed, and the Commandments, the 
Catechism and the Tradition of the Church. It must be borne 
in mind that the teaching office of the Church for which our 
Lord promised the guidance of the Holy Spirit to guide us 
into "all truth" has strict and exclusive reference to the 
Church's function and work, the coming of God's kingdom 
and the redemption of mankind. It is the Doctrine, Discipline, 
and Sacraments of the Divine and human Fellowship, the Holy 
Catholic Church, for which we claim with confidence the Divine 
guidance: the Church as such does not claim to dogmatize in 
the region of speculative philosophy or experimental science. 
She may and has contributed many brillant students in these 
departments of knowledge. But she claims no monopoly of 


truth. She gladly recognizes that God is revealing Himself in 
manj ways, and that ^*the Spirit of the Lord hath filled the 
world, and that which holdeth all things together hath knowl- 
edge of every voice" (Wisd. i. 7). "For Thine incorruptible 
spirit is in aU things" (Wisd. xii. 1). She hopes to embrace 
all knowledge and all wisdom for the enrichment of her faith. 
But the sphere of her authoritative teaching is the Fellowship 
of the Church, and its Divine purpose of redemption, its tra- 
dition and its conditions of membership. This will give the 
tone as well as the limits to her dogmatic teaching. 

///. — Considerations on Dogmatic Teaching 

1. Its Necessity : Oub Lokd's Command. — ^It is necessary 
in the first place for the Church to teach dogmatically because 
our Lord commissioned her to do so. She is the guardian of 
a supernatural revelation from God to man. It is not her 
primary duty to concern herself with the speculations of the 
modem mind which are often out of date as soon as they are 
formulated. Her first duty is to teach "the Faith once for all 
delivered to the saints," because this is what she is commis- 
sioned to teach. 

2. The Needs of Man. — Secondly, dogmatic teaching is 
necessary because of the needs of man. Few people have lei- 
sure or inclination to become theologians, and to enter fully 
into the reasons why the Church teaches this or that doctrine. 
Millions of manual workers, millions of mothers of large fami- 
lies, thousands of students in other sciences, millions of sol- 
diers and thousands of sailors, have no leisure or capacity or 
inclination for the highly specialized studies necessary to form 
an independent opinion of their own. They have a right to 
ask what the Church teaches, and to accept this on the author^ 
ity of the Divine Fellowship, to which, for a variety of reasons, 
they are willing to entrust their lives. 

8. Temperamental Diffeeences. — Persons perceive 
truth in many different ways. The sceptical or inquiring 
temperament always like to know "the reason why," and to 
build up its faith on a scientific basis. But the mystical and 
artistic temperament perceives truth in vision, as a whole, and 
has no use whatever for the weary efforts of the analytical in- 


tellect and its logical conclusions. I was once preparing a 
young officer, the son of bitterly agnostic parents, for Holy 
Baptism. He was an artist, a scholar of his college, and tak- 
ing honors in history. When we came to consider the Deity 
of Christ, I said to him: ^^I will, if you wish it, explain to 
you the reasons why the Church teaches that Jesus Christ is 
the only-begotten Son of God, or if you prefer it you can 
accept this belief because the Church teaches it." He an- 
swered: ^^I will gladly listen, sir, to anything you care to 
teach me, but I fear that it will mean nothing to me, because 
my mind is never able to follow logical analysis. I see things 
in vision, and I have always perceived and known that Jesus 
is the Son of God, so I gladly accept what the Church teaches.'' 
I think teachers with a sceptical and analytical mind some- 
times bewilder learners whose minds work in other ways. 

4. Gkowing Expebiekce op Pbeachebs. — ^If each indi- 
vidual were limited to the data of his personal experience the 
function of preaching would be seriously limited, and perma- 
nent progress of the race would be impossible. Dogmatic 
teaching saves preachers and hearers from the result of inex- 
perience. It takes a long life to test by experience all the 
articles of the Creed. Young priests have to begin to preach 
as soon as they are ordained (twenty- three years of age). 
Their experience of life is generally confined to a public school, 
university, and theological college. While many have some 
real experience of God in some aspect of His love and mercy, 
few can have an experience which covers the whole Creed. The 
preacher, then, should rejoice that he is able to supplement 
his own inadequate experience with the full and rich experi- 
ence of the Fellowship gathered through the long centuries, 
tested by the fires of persecution, and preserved in her official 
teaching. The young priest will be sufficiently humble to 
believe that his personal and individual judgment is more likely 
to be mistaken than the corporate judgment of the Fellowship, 
because the individual has a very limited experience on which 
to form his judp^ent. The priest wiH therefore accept the 
teaching of the Church on authority, and then try to justify 
it by experiment, striving personally to appropriate each truth 
in such a way as to know by experience its working value for 
life. He will teach what the Church teaches, even when it has 
not yet the full force of a personal conviction based on his 


own experience, because he will recognize his limitations. If at 
times his own personal belief in any article of the Creed becomes 
clouded by doubt he need in no way be distressed. Doubt is 
for some temperaments the very atmosphere of faith, and, while 
a sceptical spirit often misses much of the peace and joy of a 
less inquiring and more submissive disposition, it often cleanses 
the Faith of the corruptions and superstitions which gather 
round it as it passes through many minds in its march down 
the ages. It is not until doubt has become a denial, a con- 
viction deep-seated and persisted for a long period that some 
vital part of the Church's official teaching seems to him clearly 
and dangerously false, that a man ought to resign his com- 
mission to teach in the Church's name. But men of humble 
mind, who have fully realized the awful responsibility of speak- 
ing in God's name and are also aware of their own limitations, 
will rejoice that the Church does not leave them to teach only 
out of the poverty of their own experience, but gives them 
authority to proclaim the rich experience of the Fellowship 
which entrusts them with her authority, corrects their mis- 
takes, supplements their imperfections, and sustains them in 
time of weakness, or of willfulness, or of sin, by the strong 
embrace of nobler and stronger minds. 

6. The Shield op Faith. — fio sensible person imagines 
that dogma is an exhaustive statement of the Truth. Since 
the Truth for Christians is the living Person of the infinite 
and eternal Son of God — Jesus said "I am the Way, the Truth 
and the Life" — ^no dogma covM possibly be exhaustive, for 
finite words cannot compass infinite personality. The Church's 
dogma is a short summary of the experience of the Fellowship, 
formulated as a defensive Shield of Faith to protect it from 
errors which if uncorrected would ultimately destroy it. Truth 
cannot be fully and exhaustively expressed in words, but it 
cannot be expressed at all without them. The individual uses 
words to communicate his truth as far as possible to others. 
In the same way the Church uses dogma. Dogma is not the 
life, but it is the shield which is necessary to the preservation 
of the life, as the bark is necessary to the tree, or the skin 
to the body. Dogma is the golden chalice which contains 
and preserves the precious Blood for the redemption of the 

The gain of a corporate dogmatic Faith may be illustrated 


bj this incident. I know a priest who at one time in his min- 
istry found the greatest difficulty in believing in the actyal 
truth of the Ascension of our Lord. It seemed to conflict with 
all that he knew of science, the conservation of energy, etc.; 
so, believing that the Church with its larger experience and 
the sure guidance of the Holy Spirit probably knew more than 
he did, he made unceasing prayer to God to teach him the 
working value of this dogma. What difference for life did it 
make when he believed that Christ really did ascend? Would 
it make any serious difference if he believed that Christ did 
not ascend? After six months of prayer, by the grace of God 
the Ascension became one of the most living and powerful 
facts of the Creed, solving innumerable perplexities in science 
and philosophy, providing a crown for the process of evolu- 
tion, an end and meaning for life; teaching the sympathy of 
God, the destiny of man, the entrance of our great High 
Priest into the Holy of Holies, the coronation day of the King 
of kings, the home-coming of the Son of God: completing the 
harmony of thought by the assurance that the home of man is 
in the heart of God, just as the home of God is in the heart of 
man, the crown of the long process of at-one-ment. All these 
precious living and life-giving truths would have been lost if 
this priest had relied on his inadequate, ever-shifting, ever- 
growing experience instead of trusting to the dogmatic teach- 
ing of the Church. 

As the Shield of Faith the official teaching of the Church 
protects the laity from the inadequacy and inexperience of 
those who teach them. Instead of being at the mercy of the 
crude thoughts of the ignorant and sinful men who have to 
preach to them, they have a right to be fed on that Creed, 
every article of which has been bought by the blood of martyrs : 
instead of worship being degraded to the level of the ephem- 
eral thoughts of any narrow-minded or unspiritual minister 
they have a right to worship in the spacious and hallowed 
liturgy, every prayer of which throbs with the passion of the 
saints, and awakens the echoes of the ages. 

6. The Subjective Value of Dogmatic Teaching. — 
The brilliant scholar and the illuminated mystic have no privi- 
leged position in the Church of God. The Gospel is meant 
for all mankind, and makes its appeal to the profound human 
instincts in the heart of every man. The scholar and ^4ntel- 


lectual" are not excluded from the kingdom of God. But if 
they desire to enter it our Lord requires from them to lay 
aside all reliance on their great gifts, which are after all only 
the ^^flesh and blood" manipulation of experience^ and to 
become as little children, to be bom again. ^'Except ye turn, 
and become as little children, ye shall in no wise enter into 
the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble 
himself as this little child, the same is the greatest in the king- 
dom of heaven" (S. Matt, xviii. 8). "I thank Thee, O Father, 
Lord of heaven and earth, that Thou didst hide these things 
from the wise and understanding, and didst reveal them unto 
babes" (S. Matt. xi. 5K6). He conmiissioned His Church to 
teach and to make disciples, that is ^'learners." The some- 
what truculent tone of intellectual superiority of some ^^Mod- 
emist" writers makes one question whether they may not be 
wanting in that subtle virtue of simplicity which marks the 
.childlike spirit. Readiness to accept the teaching of the 
Church with humility and reverence, and to make it the basis 
of our life experiment in the personal verification of its truth, 
is far more rational than an excessive relicmce on one's own 
individual judgment. It is the method adopted in every other 
department of life where children learn from a teacher who is 
the guardian of the corporate experience of the past. In medi- 
cine, in which few can be experts, we learn and obey a doctor 
whom we trust rightly to interpret the science which concerns 
the body. So there should be a willingness to learn from and 
to obey those who have the care of the soul. In both cases 
there is the ultimate test of life. In religion few can become 
experts in Biblical criticism or in original research. But Chris- 
tianity is for all mankind the way of life, and the countless 
millions of average men must rely on the teaching of the Divine 
Fellowship for the very material with which to make their 
experiment in the Christian life. If there is no authoritative 
teaching, preaching tends merely to reflect the opinions of those 
who appoint the minister, and souls may become imprisoned 
within the narrow circle of their own likes and dislikes, and 
slaves to self-will. But the spirit of docility which is willing 
to learn and to obey is nearer to the childlike spirit which 
Christ demands than the self-assertion which resents all mental 
and moral discipline and quickly disintegrates all corporate 


7. The Toke of Dogmatic Teaching — (i.) Authoritor 
iioe. — The preacher is not proclaiming his own opinion merely. 
He is speaking in the name and by the authority of the Holy 
Catholic Church. But the nature of this authority is to be 
noted. It is not like the authority of a king issuing a decree, 
or of a general issuing a command ; for these ultimately appeal 
to force for their sanction. Church authority is not that of a 
regiment, but that of a family. She does not appeal to force, 
but to love, as the sanction of her doctrine and of her disci- 
pline. Foroe controls only the external action. Love pene- 
trates to the inner springs of character and conduct. The 
tone of authority in Church teaching will be that of a father 
handing on the tradition of the family to his sons, rather than 
that of a colonel rapping out commands to his soldiers. 

(ii.) PeriuoMwe. — ^Therefore dogmatic teaching should be 
delivered in a clear but persuasive way. Some irritating young 
clergy love to rap out dogma as a military command accom- 
panied by threats: *^It is of faith to be believed on pain of 
mortal sin ;" just as, at the beginning of the war, I heard the 
general read the Army Act, a long list of what we were not 
to do, each clause ending with the awful doom, ^'Death or 
some lesser penalty !" This is not the way to teach dogma. A 
discipline which depends on force and fear may for a short 
time maintain the perfection of unif ormjity of outward action ; 
but it does not and cannot create a unity of inward motive. 
Dogmatic teaching must be persuasive, the God and Father 
speaking through His Church to His sons. Church authority 
is much more like that of a private school, or college at a uni- 
versity. The new boy is received into a fellowship of ideas and 
traditions, and is expected as soon as possible to catch the 
tone of the fellowship, to enter into its spirit, to share its life, 
to obey its ideals, to observe and enrich its tradition, which 
has gradually been built up through many generations. 
Everything depends upon his willing response to the complex 
life of morals, manners, customs, traditions, teaching, disci- 
pUne, and ideals ; and gradually he grows up into a form which 
abides with him through life. In the same way the Church 
embraces a soul in its Fellowship, and meets the human complex 
of body, soul, and spirit, of heart, mind, and will with the 
Catholic complex of doctrine, discipline, and sacraments, so 
that by the willing response of faith it becomes interpenetrated 


by the Divine Life. But the response must be willing, so dog- 
matic teaching must be persuasive. 

(iii.) Clear. — Dogmatic teaching must be clear cut, pre- 
cise, and neat; not vague and indefinite, befogged and bewil- 
dering : not untidy with ragged edges, or hedged about with so 
many parentheses that the central truth can scarcely be seen: 
but clear, exact, precise, definite : so that each soul may know 
exactly what the Church does teach on the subject. The age is 
bewildered with the strife of tongues, tired and weary of cease- 
less debate. A religious body which does not know its own 
mind cannot help souls. But while the official teaching of the 
Church is given with exactness and precision, we must beware 
of extending its range beyond the actual limits of our com- 
mission. For the Church has been very restrained in formu- 
lating her official doctrine, and has seldom done so except 
when the pressure of heresy forced her to define the truth as 
she holds it. 

8. The Doomatic Spibit. — There is for some minds a 
temptation to meet the vague, amorphous, formless atmos- 
pheric spirit of Undenominationalism — that ^'moral monster," 
as Gladstone called it, that worst form of unbelief which, under 
the cloak of a spurious charity that costs it nothing, suggests 
that nothing is very true — ^by a hard spirit of dogmatism which 
goes far beyond its commission, and defines where the Church 
has not defined. A curate who, in the absence of his vicar, 
announced to the faithful ^Hhat the feast of the Assumption of 
our Lady was a feast of obligation, when everyone must make 
his Communion on pain of mortal sin," was exceeding his com- 
mission, and betraying a trust, and found it very difficult to 
justify this announcement when it was pointed out to him that 
the only authority which could warrant such an announcement 
was one which refused to recognize his only claim to attention, 
his priesthood. It is against this irritating abuse of the trust- 
fulness of the laity, and of the commission of the Church, that 
good and thoughtful men protest when they condemn the spirit 
of dogmatism, a condemnation well expressed in the following 
passage from a useful little book, ^'Christian Revolution," by 
E. Bumey (p. 188) : 

*^Dogma — plainly — cannot be more than the grammar book 
of Faith, or if the phrase be preferable, an attempt to explain 
the Faith by intellectual diagrams. No doubt dogma is neces- 


sary both to the preservation and the propagation of the 
Faith; to its preservation from the chaos and the extrava- 
gancies of unbridled individualism, and to its propagation be- 
cause that demands a communicable form, and faith in the reahn 
of pure mysticism is not in a communicable form. To me, at 
least, dogma appears as a necessary evil. But necessary it is, 
and consequently it is futile to bewail its existence. It is not 
dogma, but the dogmatic spirit, upon which I wish to declare 
war. The dogmatic spirit in religion is Prussianism ruling 
the Faith, the mind of the bureaucrat let loose upon the things 
of God. ^I like uniformity in everything,' said the arch- 
bureaucrat Arakcheef, minister of the Tsar Alexander I. The 
dogmatic spirit like the mind of the bureaucrat shows its 
tyrannical nature in two ways. It is always trying to expand 
its sphere of authority, and it is always, openly or covertly, 
trying to smell out heretics and to persecute them.^ 


(B) Ethical Teaching 

We have seen that Christianity is supernatural in its 
essence ; a Divine bestowal, not a human attainment ; a revela- 
tion given by God, not a discovery made by man ; not a phi- 
losophy to be discussed nor a problem to be solved, but a life 
to be lived and a Person to be loved. It is the Catholic or uni- 
versal religion because it claims the allegiance of all mankind. 
This claim can only be made by a religion which appeals to a 
fundamental instinct in human nature. This fundamental in- 
stinct is the conscience. All Christian teaching then must be 
penetrated through and through with the ethical appeal: we 
must preach as S. Paul preached, *^by the manifestation of 
the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in 
the sight of God" (2 Cor. iv. «). 

1. Oua Lord's Teaching. — Our Lord throughout the 
whole of His teaching was intensely emphatic in insisting on an 
ethical religion, and in making that ethic penetrate to the 
inmost springs of conduct in heart and mind and will. He 
laid the foundation of His kingdom in righteousness ; not in the 
righteousness of outward conformity to an external law, but in 
a righteousness based upon the inward motive of a loving will. 
Man's life has a threefold activity. He energizes in the three 
spheres of the Physical, the Intellectual, and the Spiritual, by 


his body, soul, and spirit. His religion will express itself in 
conduct, creed, and conscience. None of these can be ignored. 
Each of them has its own place in religion. Nor should they 
be separated in false antitheses, pitched one against the other. 
They are a trinity in unity, concentric, interpenetrating, and 
interacting. To separate the body from the soul, or the soul 
from the spirit, is to put asunder what God has joined to- 
gether. It is this divorce of what God has joined together, 
this schism in the soul, which accounts' for that process of dis- 
integration which is threatening to destroy our life. But in 
the various activities of our personality we can discern a rela- 
tive importance. The body is subordinate to the mind, the 
mind to the spirit. An ethical religion, therefore, cannot rest 
content with the control of conduct, for the outward action 
depends upon its inward motive for its character as good or 
bad. Nor can it be content to rest upon a merely intellectual 
basis, for the mere scholar cannot explain to us why he should 
prefer truth to falsehood. There is a more primary and fun- 
damental and all-embracing category. It is the conscience — 
'Hhe soul's power of passing judgment upon the thoughts, mo- 
tives, and actions, a universal, pervasive, judicial quality of 
the conscious life." 

It is incorrect to describe the conscience as the voice of 
God within us. For the conscience needs educating. It is 
possible to have a perverted conscience — ^what Plato describes 
as "the lie in the soul." The great tragedy in history is the 
blinding or perversion of the soul. It is more correct to 
describe the conscience as our hearing or interpenetration of 
the voice of God within us. Our hearing may be dull or 
defective. Our interpretation may be imperfect or perverted. 
This fact is the condemnation of the whole false philosophy 
of "atomic" personality, and the justification of the Church as 
essential. No mere individual can claim infallibility. It is in 
the interaction of the conscience of the individual with the 
judgment of the Divine Fellowship of the Church that the 
conscience is educated, purified, and corrected, and the judg- 
ment of the Church is kept true to the heart and mind of 

Our Lord found a religion which had become divorced from 
justice and righteousness. The Pharisees had made the test 
of religion an outward conformity to an external law. Our 


Lord made religion penetrate through outward conduct to 
inward motive. He found a religion based on ritual, cere* 
monial, and law. He insisted that true religion must be based 
on righteousness, justice, and love. Bj substituting personal 
relationship for legal enactment, He based religion on love 
instead of law; and when love is the spring of all life, every- 
thing else adjusts itself aright. ^^Love and do what thou wilt,'' 
says S. Augustine. ^^Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with 
all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and 
with all thy strength;" and ''Thou shalt love thy neighbor 
as thyself (S. Mark xii. 80). This gives the keynote to 
all ethical teaching. Our Lord made doing the will of Grod 
the vital test of the soul and of the Church. 
The Ethicid Church. 

S. Mark iii. 84: ''And looking round on them which sat 
round about Him, He saith, Behold, My mother and My 
brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same 
is My brother, and sister, and mother." 

S. Matt. vii. 21: "Not everyone that saith unto Me, 
Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he 
that doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven." 

S. Luke xi. 98: "Yea rather, blessed are they which hear 
the word of God, and keep it." 

S. Matt. xxi. 28: In the parable of the two sons: "I 
go, sir: and went not" — profession without performance — 
"Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, that the pub- 
licans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before 
you. For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, 
and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots 
believed him." 

2. The Ethical Teaching of the Chuech. — ^This ethic 
based on God — for God is Love — ^is summed up by the Church 
in her majestic expansion of the Golden Rule in her Cate- 
chism. It would be a great gain if the Golden Rule or the 
"My duty toward God" and "my neighbor" were read at the 
Holy Eucharist instead of the Ten Commandments, placed by 
a disastrous mistake of the Reformers at the beginning of 
our liturgy. For while the Jewish commandments have abid- 
ing validity as the foundation principles of all social life, it 
seems most fatal to read them to the exclusion of the new 
commandment given us by our Lord. "A new commandment 


I ^ve unto you, that ye love one another; even as I have 
loved you, that ye also love one another" (S. John xiii. 34}). 
For the Jewish commandments are negative, not positive, and 
Christ is "Yea," not "Nay"; these negative prohibitions sub- 
stitute respectability for holiness and law for love, the avoid- 
ance of sin for the striving after perfection, and the smug 
satisfaction of the Pharisee for the flaming passion of the 

In the two summaries, "My duty to God" and "My duty 
to my neighbor," we may find the leading characteristics of 
Christian ethics. It is entirely to miss the point of the sacra- 
mental teaching of the Church when people imagine that it 
emphasizes the outward form to the neglect of the inward 
spirit. That is not its meaning or effect. Its real effect is 
to transfer the emphasis of love from the emotions to the 
will. Nowhere does the Church lay any stress on the feel- 
ing. Everjrwhere she lays stress on tiie obedience of the 
will. In Holy Baptism: "Wilt thou then obediently keep 
God's holy will and commandments, and walk in the same all 
the days of thy life?" Answer: "I will endeavor so to do, 
God being my helper." In Confirmation: "Bound to believe 
and to do all those things, etc.?" Answer: "I do." In Holy 
Communion: "Steadfastly purposing to lead a new life." In 
Holy Matrimony: "I will." Everywhere love is interpreted, 
not as a sentiment, nor as an emotion, but as a will to do 
His Will. Everywhere the Church echoes her Lord's teach- 
ing — ^**By their fruits ye shall know them." "He that hath 
My commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth 
Me" (S. John xiv. 21). 

8. Some Characteeistics op Christian Ethics — (i.) 
Supernatural. — ^We base our ethics on God and our relation- 
ship to Him. The love of God is not the crown and con- 
clusion of a long process of moral evolution beginning in the 
mud and mist of a new-bom world, painfully wallowing about 
in the slime of the parental instincts of an ichthyosaurus, 
purifying itself in the flirtations of the hippopotamus, until at 
last it blossoms out into the meager flower of the guarded 
and tentative speculation of a professor's mind. The love of 
God is a Divine revelation, the unveiling, and the self-bestowal 
of God in giving His only-begotten Son to become man "for 
us men and for our salvation," and the gratitude and respon- 


sive love which this gift of God awakens in the heart of 

(ii.) Personality, — ^Being based on God, Christian ethics 
can never be reduced to a mere code. They will always be 
more than any legal enactment. For they begin with rela- 
tionship to a Person, and consist of the relationships which 
flow from that. Because God loves each soul as His own 
child, each soul has priceless worth, a worth not dependent on 
its gifts, attainments, talents, or capacities, but on the love 
of God its Father. The love of God creates all other values, 
and dominates all relationships. Because God is Father, all 
men are brethren, and any attempt of the individual to think 
of himself apart from the family is the sin of selfishness. 
'^Personal life is a partnership in which each shares in the 
experience of others, works for their good, suffers with them. 
To state the Christian ideal for man in terms of individual 
salvation or self-development alone is therefore impossible. 
Personality can fulfill itself only in a social setting, its values 
be realized only in fellowship. 

*^By love, as the word is used by Jesus, is not meant 
simply an emotional attitude. It is an active desire that all 
men shall have the fullness of life that one desires for him- 
self; it involves a directing of the will toward the common 
good. Hence love always unites. Selfishness, on the other 
hand, is always disruptive, because it means that men's wills 
are directed to private and exclusive ends. It is the motive 
of love, therefore, that makes possible the human solidarity 
implied in the conception of brotherhood" ("The Church and 
Industrial Reconstruction," p. 19). William Law describes 
the love of God as an Eternal Will to all good for all 

(iii.) Freedom. — ^The third characteristic of Christian 
ethics which it draws from the heart of God is freedom. Free- 
dom is essentially personal and social. Tou cannot force a 
person to be free. You can remove every obstacle to free- 
dom, and tell him that he is free. But until he chooses to 
realize his freedom he cannot be free. Many social reform- 
ers talk of freedom as thouflrh it were a label you could stick 
on to a man and make him free. This cannot be done. Free- 
dom is personal. It belongs to that central essence of our 
human nature, the God within us, the image in which we 


were made. Because it is personal, therefore it is social; for 
no person can be himself except in fellowship. 

Freedom is not merely the absence of restraint. The 
freedom of the individual is not anarchy. It is freedom to 
make his contribution to the common wealth in his own way. 
Freedom does not belong to atomic personality. The birth- 
place of freedom is in the relation of the individual to the 
fellowship. Attempts have been made, we are told, to force 
little cells whose nature it is to be round, to become oblong 
by squeezing them into that shape. But as soon as the pres- 
sure is removed these little cells at once assert their right to 
be round. They came into the world with a certain nature 
and destiny, a contribution to make to the work of God. And 
they claim their right to make this contribution in their own 
way. As with cells, so with souls. Freedom is not the absence 
of restraint. Free thought is not freedom to think what you 
please, as to think what is false to be true. Such free 
thought could only end in a lunatic asylum. Free action is 
not for each limb in the body to act with disregard to the 
whole. Such freedom would end in S. Vitus's dance. Personal 
freedom is to be free to make one's own contribution to the 
commonwealth in one's own way. 

We have dwelt on this at length because it is vital to our 
ethical teaching. "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall 
make you free" (S. John viii, 82). "Now the Lord is the 
Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty" 
(2 Cor. iii. 17). In the heart of everyone there are two in- 
stincts which are hostile to Christian liberty : the slothful spirit 
of a slave, which wants others to make its decisions for it, and 
the proud spirit of a Kaiser, which loves to dominate other 
souls. The first must be stimulated into the activity of a per- 
sonal response; the second must be disciplined into self-sacri- 
fice of leadership. For freedom is essential to love: and God 
is Love. 

Is there, then, no place for restraint and discipline and 
obedience, no worth in docility, humility, and meekness in the 
Christian ethic? Yes, indeed there Is. There Is no law so 
stern as the law of love. There Is no life so restrained as the 
life of freedom. There is no discipline so strict as the rule of 
the spirit, of whom it is said : "Her true beginning Is desire of 
discipline: and the care for discipline is love of her; and love 


of her is observance of her laws ; and to give heed to her laws 
confiimeth incorruption : and incorruption bringeth near unto 
God" (Wisd. vi. 17). The Christian ethic demands the stern- 
est discipline, but it is discipline with a purpose; the purpose 
of all Christian discipline is education for freedom. So men 
have to restrain their pctssions if their will is to be free; and 
the will has to be subdued into obedience if it is to be saved 
from the worst of tyrannies, the tyranny of self-will. 

(iv.) Punishment and Reward. — Ethical teaching, then, 
will have for its object the education of the soul into the free- 
dom of a self -discipline which springs from love. In the train- 
ing of an animal and the government of backward races, in 
the education of a child and the training of persons with 
imperfect moral, intellectual, and spiritual development, there 
is room for the pleasure-pain method, the fear of loss and the 
hope of reward, the warnings and promises of God. As long 
as man is man and consists of body and soul, a body by which 
he inherits many of the instincts, impulses, emotions, affec- 
tions, and passions of the brute creation, and a soul which has 
to discipline this material into a purer and loftier life, so long 
will the pleasure-pain method be a necessary step in our life 
of probation. That method of reward and punishment which 
claims Divine sanction in the Old Testament, and is used to 
the full by our Lord in all His teaching, is the only method 
which truly represents the facts of life. Those who profess 
to despise it invariably use it in some more subtle form. But 
those who study our Lord's teaching in every parable and 
every discourse will see that punishment and reward are used 
as means of moral evolution to the one supreme end of that 
which transcends them. Love. The evolution of life is marked 
by two clearly defined stages. At first life moves upward by 
pressure from below, by fear of death. Thus the tiger learns 
his spring, the antelope its swiftness, and the fox its cunning. 
But it is not the fear of death which moves the saint to self- 
denial, the artist to suiFering, and the scientist to study. Not 
the fear of death, but the love of life. The saint, the artist, 
and the scientist each has seen the Heavenly Vision of the 
Good, the Beautiful, and the True — that threefold ray of 
light from the face of God. Life no longer moves upward by 
pressure from below, the fear of death ; now it is drawn upward 
by attraction from above, the love of life. The mortifications 


of the saint, the sufferings of the artist, the labors of the sci- 
entist are the birth-pangs of the higher life. They have caught 
a glimpse of Reality, of God, and they agonize until they can 
give it expression, until they can communicate it to others. 
They know that this expression, this dogma, this teaching will 
fall far short of the fullness of their version, because of their 
own imperfection, and of the imperfection of the material in 
which they have to express themselves. But they believe that 
they can express enough to awaken other souls to see what 
they have seen, and to know what they know. So it is with 
the author and the preacher. When he has seen the Heavenly 
Vision, when the Word of the Lord h€is taken possession of 
him, he groans for deliverance, to be allowed to express as best 
he can the truth he has seen, to awaken in other souls a 
kindred response to God. 

Now what is the meaning of this passion to communicate 
the truth to others.^ Is it not to be gound in the very nature 
of God Himself? For God is Love; and love is self-bestowal; 
and the self-sacrifice of love yearns for the response of an 
answering love. The Christian ethic, then, will use discipline 
only to educate into freedom ; never to secure by force a docil- 
ity which dares not oppose, and ends in the mere acquiescence 
of an apathy which no longer resists; but always to awaken 
in souls the God within them, so that each soul may become 
a burning bush, aflame with God, yet unconsumed; a soul which 
by self-discipline is growing more and more into the mind of 
Christ. ^^For this commandment which I command thee this 
day it is not too hard for thee, neither is it far off. It is not 
in heaven that thou shouldst say. Who shall go up for us to 
heaven, and bring it unto us, and make us to hear it that we 
may do it? Neither is it beyond the sea that thou shouldst 
say. Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, 
and make us to hear it, that we may do it? But the word is 
very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth and in thy heart, that thou 
mayst do it" (Deut. xxx. 11). 

So in ethical teaching the preacher will not aim at pro- 
ducing a pliant instrument, but a responsive agent; he will 
explain the teaching of the Church on social relationships, on 
courtship, marriage, and divorce, on commerce and industry, 
on justice and righteousness, in such a way as by the mani- 
festation of the truth to educate and win the consent of every 


man's conscience. He will strive to bring to birth another 
center of the Divine life — ^^^little children, of whom I am again 
in travail until Christ be formed in you.'' He will severely 
discipline his own self-will and abhor the spirit which desires 
to dominate weaker wills. **Not that we have lordship over 
your faith, but are helpers of your joy" {ft Cor* i. 24). He 
will aim at moral leadership, not at moral despotism. He will 
have such a deep reverence for the image of God in man, for 
personality, conscience, freedom, and love, that he wiU never 
transgress liberty by imposing himself on others. This con- 
ception of the use of discipline and authority as purely edu- 
cational with a view to freedom is the ideal which S. Paul puts 
before us. *^Rule, authority, and power" over all lives of 
others, even the Church and the reign of Christ Himself, are 
means of winning the victory over sin and death, means to an 
end, the end of freedom in the family of God, when love will 
harmonize all wills into union with the will of God. This is 
the far-off ideal of the spiritual anarchist. '^Then cometh the 
end, when he shall deliver up the kingdom to God, even the 
Father, when he shall have abolished all rule and all authority 
and power" (1 Cor. xv. S4). The particular subjects of 
ethical teaching will be dealt with in detail in a later chapter. 
Some passages from a useful little book on *^The Philosophy 
of Preaching," by Behrends, may conclude this section. 

Exteact: fsom ^^The Philosophy of Pkeachino," 

BY Behsends 

1. Comcience — its Witness to God. 

P. 79: '*S. Paul sought to commend himself to every man's 
conscience as in the sight of God. He made little use of exter- 
nal evidence. He did not trouble himself about the canon. 
He appealed to but one miracle — ^the miracle of our Lord's 
Resurrection from the dead, and that was verified to him not 
solely by historical testimony, but by personal experience of 
the power of the risen Christ. He let his own soul speak, and 
the argument went straight home. No preaching ever was 
more natural, though it was supernatural in every fiber. The 
philosophy which eliminates the supernatural is hopelessly shat- 
tered in the court of every man's conscience. The denial of 
the living God involves discredit of the moral nature, whose 


ingrained sense of guilt and ciMisciousness of weakness demand 
a pardoning and redeeming God. Hence Tertullian speaks of 
the soul's testimony as naturally Christian, and S. Augustine 
describes the heart of man as restless until it finds its rest in 

ft. Dan*t Argue. 

P. 82: ^^There is generally most of reason when there is 
least of argument, when the speech compels every man to 
listen to the authority within." 

S. Conscience and 'Reason. 

P. 88 : ^^You cannot deal with the reason and neglect the 
conscience. The soid is a living unity in whose conscious life 
the intellectual and the ethical elements blend. 

^^You can have no psychology which does not assume the 
veracity of consciousness, you can have no true thought which 
does not reverence each separate fact, and all the facts in 
their natural order, and in their completeness. The ethical 
is the primary and inclusive category of the understanding; 
and all true thinking is at heart an ethical process. Nor, on 
the other hand, can the moral nature act in severance from 
the intellectual. Every moral deliverance is an act of judg- 
ment, a consciously rational verdict. 

'^Thus the science of the soul is an organic indissoluble 
unity, where the intellectual and the ethical elements constantly 
balance and interpenetrate each other: so that we may say 
that nothing is rational which is not right, and nothing is 
right which is not rational : while the relation between God and 
the soul is such that nothing can be rational and right for 
man which is not also rational and right for God : and nothing 
can be divinely rational and right for God which does not com- 
mand the soul's prompt and cordial response." [This seems 
to ignore man's fallen nature, his defective reason and per- 
verted conscience. — ^P. B. B.] 

**Men need only to be true to themselves to have the truth 
of God master them. This does not make the human reason 
the seat of primary authority and infallible ; but it does affirm 
the superiority of the reason in man to discern and verify the 
truth of divine revelation. Otherwise inspiration itself would 
be impossible and inconceivable: for in inspired men the high- 


est thoughts of God bum and glow, in words and phrases that 
are full of the fire of personal rational conviction. And so the 
Bible continues to be the greatest of all books, because it lies 
nearest to the level of true human thought." 

4. What it the Contciencef 

P. 101 : "The best definition of the word, closely follow- 
ing its etymological derivation, which I have ever seen, makes 
it the soul's power of passing judgment upon the thoughts, 
motives, and actions, a universal pervasive, judicial quality of 
its conscious life. 

"The appeal to the conscience therefore is simply a sum- 
mons to the soul to exercise its highest ethical prerogative. It 
is only indirectly and mediately that you can convince any 
man. He must convict and convince himself. Hence illumina- 
tion is represented as the primary function of the ministry 
of the Holy Spirit: while spiritual perception and the moral 
judgment following it are the acts of the soul under the reve- 
lation of the truth. 

"Leave the truth to do its own work. Throw the man 
upon himself. If you have brought him face to face with God 
you may retire. But to secure that should be your overmas- 
tering passion, so that the pivine presence may produce self- 
conviction, confession, penitence, and faith. Never permit 
yourself to forget that to provoke men to self-judgment In 
the sight of God, is your vocation and should be the aim of all 
your discourse : and if your preaching be directed to the ethi- 
cal end, its eternal undertone, majestic and mighty, will be, 
'Now is the day of salvation,' summoning to instant decision 
and prompt obedience." 

5. Sptritual Preaching. 

P. 180: "A sermon gets to be a sermon and saves itself 
from being a lecture by being made and delivered In the Holy 

6. TnidUgibiUty. 

P, 170 : "It may seem to you a hard and narrow rule, but 

it is an eminently practical and salutary one — ^that what is 
true is always intelligible, that revelation is unveiling not mys- 


tificatioDy and that the time of a sermon is worse than wasted 
unless the message is so phrased that every man can under- 
stand it. 

'^There is nothing shadowy or mystical in the indwelling 
of the Holy Spirit and in the resultant spirituality of life. 
The reason and the will are the sphere of the Divine impact 
and indwelling: these are not mystical but djmamic; and they 
are dynamic by illumination of the understanding and by secur- 
ing voluntary obedience to the revelation. To be fOled with, 
the Spirit is the same thing as being guided by the Spirit into 
all truth: it is to see things as they really are, and to act in 
accordance with that vision. Spirituality, therefore, is a 
rational and voluntary state. It begins with mental sanity 
piercing through shams and deceptive appearances to God as 
the Holy Father, and to man as His lost and wandering 

(C) ExposiTosT Teaching 
ConMerationf : Diligent Studjf 

We shall dwell on this in the chapter on "the Remote 
Preparation." Here it is only necessary to say that it is the 
preacher's duty to keep in constant touch with the work of 
the scholar in Biblical criticism. This duty is admirably 
expressed in Mrs. Herman's "Christianity and the New Age." 
"The preacher to whom the scholar's work is a pure piece of 
technical exposition, in whom the vast contribution of criti- 
cal research to our understanding of the background of the 
Gospels, the setting of S. Paul's Epistles, and the genius of 
New Testament Greek does not breed a surer grasp, a larger 
vision, a more potent skill of interpretation, has failed to 
realize the greatness of his calling. Nothing would be of more 
evil omen for the future of the Church than the existence of a 
large body of critical work that has not passed from the 
scholar's workshop into the very fiber of the exegesis, the 
exposition, and the preaching." 

But while it is a duty to study the work of critics with 
care, it is necessary to do so also with caution. For the habit 
of destructive criticism passes very easily from a sincere 
desire to manifest the truth into an hysterical impulse to be 
original at all costs, to startle and to shock. Destructive 


criticism, if it is not balanced by constructive work, may soon 
become a mental disease of mere disintegration. Perhaps the 
following considerations may help to suggest the right atti- 
tude of the preacher toward Biblical criticism* 

1. Scientific. — ^In so far as God reveals Himself in the 
world of the phenomenal this is a legitimate subject for scien- 
tific investigation. Historical science may speak with some 
authority when it tries to examine the various documents, rec- 
ords, narrative of events which are believed to embody the 
way in which God has communicated with man. For that 
which enters the world of the phenomenal is a proper subject 
for the scientific method. 

S. Unscibntific. — ^But in so far as prediction and experi- 
ment in verification is impossible, such opinions as critics may 
form can scarcely claim to be scientific. They seldom amount 
to more than an extremely probable opinion. We must try to 
sift the assured results of criticism from the rash speculations 
of the critics. 

8. The Bias of Pkesuppositions. — Criticism must be re- 
ceived with caution, because few critics are able to overcome 
the presuppositions which affect their judgment. For exam- 
ple, if a person approaches the subject of the Resurrection of 
our Lord with the presupposition or prejudice that he knows 
what the body is, or what matter is, he starts his investigation 
with false presuppositions. Scientific men would tell him that 
we know absolutely nothing of the ultimate nature of matter, 
and absolutely nothing of the vital force which constitutes a 
body. And yet many critics ignore their limitations and ap- 
proach the subject blinded by these two entirely false presup- 
positions. Again, if a critic brings to the study of miracle a 
strong belief in the mechanical interpretation of the universe, 
the whole of his judgment of evidence will be dyed by his preju- 
dice. It may be said that the same defect of presupposition or 
prejudice affects every scientific work, and lliat no one has a 
Uank mind free from bias. Quite true. But there is a differ- 
ence. In the exact sciences a man is saved from becoming 
obsessed by his theory or his method, because point by point 
they are verified or corrected or destroyed by experiment and 
tested by prediction. While in Biblical criticism there is no 
test of experiment to save a man from becoming the slave of 
his theory, or to correct him when he exaggerates or overstrains 


it. Thus some destructive critics carry their speculations to 
the point of gross silliness. 

4. Th£ Nsed of Tkabition. — ^Much confident criticism is 
invalidated by the adoption of a defective method of using 
the material. It is a ccwunon mistake to treat the New Testa- 
ment apart from the tradition of the Church, whose book it 
is. It is absolutely unhistorical and unscientific to take the 
letters which S. Paul wrote to his brethren in the Fellowship 
of the Holy Catholic Church and to interpret them as though 
they were written to men in generaL S. Paul wrote to a circle 
of readers who had been carefully instructed in the Christian 
Faith, baptized and confirmed, and accustomed to the discipline 
of the Fellowship, to the prayer and worship at the Holy 
Eucharist. These letters were read out to the Fdlowship at 
the Holy Eucharist. No one was admitted to that service who 
was unbaptized, and who therefore had not been admitted to 
the Fellowship and had received no instruction. So that S. 
Paul must have known that his letters would be read out to 
persons who had already been instructed in the Apostles' doc- 
trine and disciplined in the Apostles' Fellowship and taught 
to worship in ^^the breaking of bread" and the prayers* TUs 
represents a great volume of common tradition, a whole at- 
mosphere of family feeling, which will profoundly affect the 
valuation of every argument he uses, of those which he omits, 
in fact of almost every phrase in his letter. Yet many per- 
sons use his letters and try to interpret them entirely apart 
from the tradition of the Fellowship, and from this whole 
atmosphere of the family life, as though S. Paul had been 
writing his letters to the world in general. Persons who are 
unbaptized, who neglect or despise the sacraments, who are 
unconfirmed, who have definitely rejected the discipline of the 
Church and communion with their Bishop — in other words, who 
are entirely without the atmosphere of the Apostles' teaching 
and fdlowship — ^will take S. Paul's letters and apply them to 
any person who may be drawn to Christ by the longing of 
their hearts. It is from such a misuse of the documents that 
a truly scientific and historical criticism should save us. It is 
profoundly unscientific and unhistorical to use them in this 
way. In fact, the writings of the New Testament cannot be 
rightly interpreted apart from the tradition of the Church. 
We may illustrate this point by a modem example. "The 


Rule and Constitution" of the Conununity to which I belong is 
printed in a little book, and is the Rule which governs our 
life. Every phrase of it has been most carefully worded, to 
make its meaning clear. But even so, brethren who have 
recently joined the Community misinterpret some of the 
phrases because as yet they are not familisur with the tradi- 
tion of our family life by which the Rule must be interpreted. 
If you were to take that printed Rule and give it to persons 
who were entirely separated from our Fellowship, who knew 
nothing of the atmosphere in which we live, of the presupposi- 
tions which lie behind every phrase of the Rule, it is certain 
that the most skilled critic would misinterpret the Rule in many 
vital ways. Because every document depends upon the tra- 
dition of the Fellowship to which it belongs for its right inter- 
pretation two thousand years hence. Army orders read out 
every week in the barrack room are intelligible to soldiers 
because they know the tradition. They would generally be 
hopelessly unintelligible to civilians, because they would have 
no tradition by which to interpret them. 

The same failure in interpretation marks many Protestant 
histories of the Middle Ages. They are written without any 
reference at all to the Blessed Sacrament of the Body and 
Blood of Christ, beyond a passing allusion to the Mass. But 
the Blessed Sacrament in those times was the very center of 
all life, which dominated the minds and influenced the judg- 
ments and formed the character of the whole life of that 
period, in heart, or village, or town, in personal, and economic 
and political life. To ignore tradition is to falsify history. 

We notice the same perversion of the truth when persons 
try to reconstruct the Jesus of history from the three Synop- 
tic Gospels without giving sufficient weight to the facts that 
— (1) The Gospels were not written for general propaganda 
purposes, but for menbers of the Fellowship; (2) everyone who 
would read them had been instructed in the whole Catholic com- 
plex of doctrine, discipline, and worship; (3) all were familiar 
with the Pauline and Johannine Christology, the belief that 
Jesus Christ is the only-begotten Son of God; and (4) for 
twenty or thirty years before the Gospels were written they 
had been accustomed to worship Christ as God. If one con- 
trasts the vulgar familiarity of these efforts with the delicate 
reticence and restraint of the writers of the Gospel, we shall 


see the necessity of interpreting documents by the tradition of 
the Fellowship to which they belong. 

The invalidity of any method of interpreting the New Tes- 
tament which ignores the tradition of the Fellowship of the 
Church, may be illustrated by taking any letter written by a 
missionary to his flock. If you interpret it apart from the 
tradition, as though it were written to the heathen, you might 
conclude that the omission of anything but a passing allusion 
to Holy Baptism, for example, was evidence that that sacra- 
ment was lightly esteemed. If you have a true conception of 
sciaitific historical criticism and interpret the letter in full 
realization of the tradition, you will know that the letter is 
written to persons who for two years or so have been carefully 
instructed as catechumens in the whole tradition of the Cath- 
olic Faith before they were admitted by Holy Baptism to the 
Fellowship of the Church. In the first case omission will be 
taken as evidence of the unimportance of a doctrine or prac- 
tice. In the second case omission may be rightly taken as 
evidence that this doctrine or practice is so fundamental and 
essential that there is no need to mention it. So, in modem 
correspondence no one thinks of saying, ^^I write to you as a 
baptized, confirmed, and communicant member of the Church,*' 
or, ''I write to you as a priest, duly ordained by the laying on 
of the Bishop's hands," or, *^I intend to place tiiis letter in an 
envelope and stamp it, and then post it." These things are 
taken for granted. The mention of them would suggest fraud. 
Their omission suggests their fundamental importance. A 
truly scientific criticism, then, will beware of "abstractions." 
The Catholic complex of doctrine, discipline, and sacraments 
is so closely interwoven in the Christian life that it is unsci^- 
tific to isolate any one of them, a writing from its tradition, 
or the sacraments from the discipline of the Church. 

5. The Gains of True Criticism. — ^Having warned 
readers against the perils of accepting blindfold the mere 
assertions of over-confident criticism, we may now sum up the 
immense gains in the interpretation of documents which the 
labor of reverend and careful historical criticism has brought 
to students of the Bible. It has shattered that most degrad- 
ing superstition of the verbal inspiration of the Bible. It has 
cleared away a vast accumulation of error which buried Gt)d's 
revelation of His mind and will beneath a mass of irrelevant 


matter. It has taught us to understand the process of moral 
and spiritual evolution. It has enabled us to give the right 
value and emphasis to the many different forms of inspiration 
and revelation. It has enabled us to reconstruct the historical 
atmosphere in which alone the books ot the Bible can be rightly 
interpreted. It has enriched and exalted the spiritual suprem- 
acy of God's revelation to His chosen people by developing the 
study of comparative religion. It has illuminated and given 
new life and power to the most central truths, and made the 
Bible once more a burning bush, in which the human writers 
are agents of a divine revelation, aflame with God, yet un- 

6. ExposiTOEY Teaching. — ^It is well, then, for a parish 
priest to resolve by diligent study to become possessed of the 
best new lights on the Scriptures, and to try to awaken in 
each soul, according to its capacity, an intelligent use of the 
Bible. It is certain that the habit of private daily reading of 
the Bible has a most wholesome effect in the formation of a 
strong, good character — a godly man. Where Bible reading is 
neglected. Church teaching and spiritual life deteriorate, until 
in some parishes they become utterly degenerate and unspir- 
itual, and wanting in the mind and spirit of Christ. The Bible 
is the touchstone of Church doctrine and the tonic of souls. 
No perfection of ecclesiastical discipline, no frequenting of 
the sacraments, no meditation on the lives of saints can take 
the place of intelligent, and devout, and frequent prayerful 
reading of the Bible. To make it intelligent there should in 
every parish be regular schemes of public exposition. Some- 
times a doctrine such as the teaching about the Holy Spirit, 
or the Messiah, or the kingdom of God, or sin and redemption, 
should be traced through the whole course of the Scriptures. 
This will impress on hearers the unity of the divine library. 
At other times the Bible may be treated biographically, as a 
series of lives of holy men. Again, the separate books of the 
Bible should be expounded book by book taking, perhaps, four 
books each year, explaining their date and authorship, the 
historical atmosphere in which they were written and first read, 
emphasizing the leading lessons they were meant to convey, 
dividing the book into suitable passages rather than dwelling 
on isolated texts. But the purpose of public exposition should 
be to stimulate in each soul a desire to read for himself. Such 


preaching, to be effective, makes great demands on the preacher 
for hard work and diligent study. For we have no right to be 
dull. The Word is full of life and color and moyement, and 
we can make it very interesting if we take pains. 

While it may be true to say that false ideas about the 
Bible have frequently perverted the souls of men, and have 
presented them with a distorted image of God so evil as to jus- 
tify the professed unbelief of many good and earnest men, and 
done infinite harm to religion, it should be remembered that 
in the individual soul the Holy Spirit has often corrected the 
evil effect of these perversions. Just as the strong and healthy 
youth in the country can often drink of tainted waters without 
coming to any harm, because the general vigor of his ccmsti- 
tution throws off what would injure him, so many simple- 
hearted and single-minded persons are saved by their love for 
our Lord from the poisonous effect of the misinterpretation 
and misuse of the Bible. For good as well as for evil, the creed 
which we profess with our lips is not always the creed which 
governs our lives. So in an age of transition, when we are 
passing from one method of interpretation to another, Chris- 
tian courtesy will teach us to be very patient and considerate 
in helping souls to understand a new point of view. The Bible 
belongs to the heart as well as to the head, and ofter the dear- 
est memories of a lifetime are twined round the misinterpret 
tation of some text or the misunderstanding of some passage. 
That is no reason why we should refrain from teaching the 
truth, but it is a reason why we should speak the truth in 
love. This spirit of Christian courtesy will save us from the 
tone of contempt with which some Modernists refer to uncriti- 
cal readers of the Bible, the superiority of the intellectual 
Pharisee who considers the "multitude who know not his law 
to be accursed." 



Committee on the Teaching Opfice op the Church 

"1. The Teaching Office of the Church is twofold. On the 
one hand the Churches function is to set forth the truth of 
the Divine revelation consummated in Christ as contained in 


the Scriptures, and as interpreted and evolved in the past. It 
has the duty of preserving and handing on to future generar 
tions a message of Divine origin and of transcendent impor- 
tance for the well-being of the human race. This message is 
variously described as the Gospel of Christ, the Word of God, 
the Faith of the Church. On the other hand, it has the duty 
of interpreting this Gospel for each generation, of expressing 
it in the thought and language of tlie times and in the light 
of advancing knowledge, and of presenting it to the world as 
a living faith. While the delivery of this message is the func- 
tion of the whole Christian society there has been from the 
beginning, and there is at the present time, a body of those 
definitely and officially appointed for carrying out this oflSce 
as representatives of the Church. They are described as min- 
isters of the Gospel, as ministers of Christ: and although the 
teaching office cannot and ought not to be confined to them 
it will largely depend upon their efliciency whether the Church 
^ fulfilling its work properly" (p. 2). 

Appendix /.; **The MinUtrt/ of the Clergy as Teachers,** 

by Bishop Gore 

"W. Van Est, Professor at Douai, died 1613, wrote: Tor 
it is not the case, as the mass of men think, that the Episco- 
pal or pastoral care consists chiefly in the conferring of Holy 
Orders at their proper seasons, the consecration of churches, 
the confirming of the baptized, and the administration of the 
other sacraments at the right times and to the proper per- 
sons, and the ofi^ering of the Sacrifice of the Mass for the liv- 
ing and the dead: but the chief function of the Bishop and 
of any shepherd of souls is the preaching of the Word of God.' 

"This is the plain implication of the New Testament. God 
has really revealed Himself in a continuous process culminat- 
ing in Christ. This self-revelation of God has had a practical 
object. God has taken action for the redemption of man. 
But in redeeming man He discloses both Himself and also 
the human nature which He is redeeming, according to the 
reality of the Divine intention for it. Thus, by God's positive 
revelation, a whole body of truths not otherwise accessible to 
man is made available for him of which his intellect must take 
account. This is ^the Word of 6od,' and in the Epistles of 


the New Testament we see how this 'Word of God' took shape 
from the very earliest days of the Church's life in a closely 
coherent body of doctrine about God and about man, about 
his eternal destiny, about sin, about God's redemption of man 
in Jesus Christ, about the person and office of Christ, about 
the Holy Spirit, about the Church and the sacraments. This 
constitutes the body of truth which it is the function of the 
ministry of the Church to maintain" (p. 67). 

''Thus, in our ordinal the teaching offices of the Church 
are given all their ancient prominence. Thereby, as well as by 
giving back to the people the 'open Bible,' the Church in Eng- 
land was to become pre-eminently a well-instructed Church. 
Ignorance and superstition were to be banished. But the out- 
come to this efTort of the Reformation has been profoundly dis- 
appointing. It is irresistibly borne in upon our minds to-day 
that the ordinary member of the Church of England knows 
less about his religion than the Presbyterian from Scotland or 
the Roman Catholic from Ireland" (p. 68). 

"The function of the minister is to preach the Word of 
God, the message of salvation, as the Apostles first delivered 
it. . . . The original idea of the apostolic succession cen- 
tered upon the maintaining of the tradition. But the tradi- 
tion of any society — and history shows that the Divine Society 
the Catholic Church is no exception — always tends toward 
deterioration. It becomes stereotyped, hardened, corrupted. 
This warning is upon all the Church: 'Thus have ye made 
the Word of God of none effect by your tradition.' For the 
Christian Church the chief remedy for this natural defect of 
tradition is the constant recourse to Scripture. . . . The 
teacher must assimilate the current needs of men and the 
current teaching of science, philosophy, poetry, romance, the 
mind of the time as well as the ancient 6md unchanging mes- 
sage. Thus he is to study and form his mind upon (a) the 
tradition of the Church, (b) Scripture, (c) the mind of his 
own time" (p. 68). 

"The object of tKe Word of God is strictly practical. It 
is the redemption of man from sin and selfishness, and the 
attainment of holiness and brotherhood. The revelation of 
truth is limited by its practical object. It will never prove 
satisfactory to the intellectualist. 

" 'I thank Thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because 



Thou hast hid these things from the .wise and understanding 
and hast revealed them unto babes.' That means that the 
Gospel is a gospel for common men or those who are content 
to be treated as common men, who feel the burden of life and 
want to be equipped for good living. . . . 

^^Our chief aim as clergy of the Church of England must 
be to become tolerable preachers, who really believe in the 
pulpit as an instrument of doing good; who have a message 
and know how to deliver it with sincerity and effectiveness'* 

(p. 71). 

Extracts from Appendix IL of Report on the Teaching Office 
of the Church: **The Ministry of the Word,'' by 

Dr. H. S. Holland 

"The ministry of the Word has behind it a vital experience. 
It starts from the apprehension of a supreme fact. It is in 
itself the effort to interpret the experience of what that fact 
had been. Its law is given once for all in the great opening 
of S. John's Epistle (IS. John i.). In taking this position it 
ranges itself alongside of all articulate thought, for aJl thought 
is conditioned by experience. It starts from the Given. It 
is the interpretation of what has been felt. It is governed by 
the fact. Experience itself is the only ultimate first principle 
of philosophy: and the end of philosophy is an experience: 
and this final experience of the philosopher returns for veri- 
fication to the experience of the ordinary man from which it 
arose. This is the test of the achievement of the philosopher, 
that his philosophy should be adequate to the experience of 
life" (p. 7«). 

"Experience is the way in which reality comes within our 
consciousness: it is the witness of our contact with things" 
(p. 7«). f *F'T| 

"There is a living power at work between the Word, who 
had been so manifested on earth, and the Fellowship which 
is gathered into the one experience. There is a Spirit which 
comes from Him who has gone and makes Him present and 
alive to those who believe. 

"The experience to which the apostolic band had pledged 
its word can renew itself, then, and authenticate itself in all 


who hold themselves open to its incoming. And this ever- 
living renewal of the one experience constitutes the undying 
Fellowship and builds up the believing Body. 

"Their witness to what happened must stand alone, for we 
can only know the fact from and through what they felt it to 
be and to mean. That is the only medium through which the 
actual experience can offer itself to others for them to test 
and verify. The Fellowship formed by trust in their report 
adds to their witness the further evidence of a body of experi- 
ence endlessly accumulating and confirming and corroborat- 
ing the record by living testimony. This is what the Word 
has behind it as it goes out on its ministry" (p. 7S). 

"The Word, then, can only be fully intelligible to those 
who love. Only from within can you know. This is what lies 
behind the startling saying of our Lord, ^Except a man be 
born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.' Only by 
living inside this kingdom can he see what it is. There is no 
way of remaining outside as a spectator and giving judgment 
upon it. . . . Nothing is really known except from inside its 
atmosphere and its conditions" (p. 74). 

"The articulation of faith, then the ministry of the Word 
— ^is always a result. It discovers what has happened. It 
makes appeal to what is there. It discloses and verifies an 
experience. No doubt it reacts on what it rehearses. It 
evokes meanings that are not understood. It reveals what 
was hidden. It expands, sifts, blesses, orders, clarifies, kindles. 
But all this work is done upon the Given in which it begins, 
and in which again it finally ends. The ministry of the 
Word, then, presupposes an environing activity within which 
it gets to work — an activity compassing it about, overlapping 
it, upholding it, limiting it, confirming it, testifying to it. Of 
the reality of this continual action the Fellowship is the per- 
petual evidence — that Fellowship which is the company of all 
faithful people, the Society that sums up this experience, the 
Body of those who have set their seal to it that they have 
found God to be true to His Word and to the reality of this 
act. To the permanence of this action personal conversions 
are the ever-renewed tribute, and sacraments the reiterated 
pledge. And the organ of this enduring action is the Holy 
Spirit, enabling both him who speaks the Word to utter it, and 
those who hear it to receive and to respond. Between these 


gpiritual poles the living Word vibrates, spirit answering to 
spirit from deep to deep" (p. 75). 

B. — ^R. F. Hobton: Extracts from "Verbum Dei" 

P. 104: ^*I say there is no foundation in the Bible itself 
for the common practice of speaking of it as the Word of 
God. Boldly chaUenge those who thoughtlessly employ the 
term. Ask them, What reason have you for the presupposi- 
tion, what support in Scripture, what assurance of prophet or 
apostle, what hint of the Lord Himself, that this collection of 
writings may be fitly described by so august a name? Startled 
as many good people are by the question, they yet, if they 
are honest, are bound to admit that the usage is without Scrip- 
tural authority ; if they are dishonest, they angrily turn upon 
those who put the question and denounce them as infidels. 

^^An examination of the Bible itself shows that the authors 
of the books which compose it did not dream of making the 
claim that what they were writing was written by God or 
spoken by God. 

'^Jeremiah himself does not, for example, imply that the 
sorrowful cry of his distressed heart, ^O Lord, Thou hast 
deceived me, and I was deceived' (Jer. xx. 7), was a word 
spoken to him by the Lord ; he trusted to the sagacity of the 
reader, never dreaming of the cult of Bibliolatry which was 
to be the strange birth of time, to perceive that this was 
spoken to the Lord by him, and not by the Lord through him." 

P. 106: ^^The loose and careless habit of describing the 
Bible as the Word of God is more than any other single cause 
responsible for the infidel literature which has flooded the 
Protestant world in the last century and the present." 

P. 185: ^^It is painful to have to confess that the shallow 
doctrine of Scripture which Protestantism has hugged for 
two centuries or more is simply the product of indolence and 

"If we would receive the Word of God in its fullness, we 
must consider and receive — 

1. The lives and the teaching of inspired men all down 

2. The truth of Comparative Religion, 
the ages. 

8. The true (best) results of Literature. 


4. Tlie true results of Science. 

5. The deeper and wider teaching which comes from the 
Bible itself." 


CHRisTiANrrT, BY Rev. Maek Gut Peaese 

Subject. — ^The Christianity of Jesus Christ: Is it Ours? 
Christ's Idea of Christianity. 

Introduction. — ^The many aspects in which Christianity 
presents itself may perhaps be summed up in these three: 

Firstly^ it is a revelation of God and of our relation to Him. 

Secondly^ it is a means of individual salvation. 

Thirdly^ it is the power of God for conquering and regen- 
erating the world. 

The first and second are often dwelt upon, but are incom- 
plete without the third, which is often overlooked. 

(A) The Problem Stated: The Salvation of the World 

Point 1 : Neglect of World Purpose, 

1. The evils most offensive to friends and foes of the 
Church spring from the neglect of the great purpose of Chris- 
tianity in relation to the world. Without this purpose Chris- 
tianity may do harm. 

2. For individual salvation and personal reward apart 
from corporate enthusiasm may only inflame selfishness. We 
cannot fully realize any of the blessings of Christianity ex- 
cept as they tend through us to bless the world. We cannot 
know truly the Fatherhood of God except as it leads us into 
a true brotherliness toward all men. Salvation is only ours 
in proportion as we die to ourselves, and live to the Glory of 
God and the good of others. 

Point 2 : The Heart of Christianity. 

1. The spring of our holy religion is in the heart of the 
Eternal Father — "God so loved the world that He gave His 
only begotten Son.** 

2. 1 S. John iv. : "He that loveth not his brother whom 
he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?'* 
"Hereby perceive we the love of Gt)d that He laid down His 


life for us. . . . We ought to lay down our lives for the 
Brethr^i." Of that we stop short. 

8. We accept the love of God. We accept the gift of 
salvation. But of the third great purpose of religion, a power 
in us for the conversion of the world, we are content to 
remain in untroubled ignorance. 

Paint » : The Salvation of the World. 

1. Upon what does it depend? We have abundant prom- 
ises of the kingdom and reign of Christ. But how is the work 
to be done? 

8. Is England, with its lust and hideous squalor, drunk- 
enness, gambling, its rigid caste in the churches, its pride, its 
love of money, a model of what Christianity can make a 
nation? If so, is it worth while to send missionaries abroad? 

8. Or if there is a Power which can cast out these devils, 
what is it? Where is it? Why is it not felt and seen? If it 
is the Divine power for the world's salvation, why does it seem 
to fail in its purpose? Is it lacking in power, or is it wrongly 

(jB) Expoiition of Acts i, 

1. "Of all that He began both to do and teach." 

Note "began." The word is not used of any other man 
who is dead and buried. Their doing and teaching is over 
though their influence may abide. So, then, Christianity is 
that same Christ going on doing and going on teaching, only 
in a new condition — ^He is now the risen Christ — and in a new 
method through the Church, which is His Body. 

S. "After that He through the Holy Ghost had given 
commandments unto the Apostles whom He had chosen." 

All that the Holy Spirit did for the Lord Jesus we 
know not. But the result and outcome of the Holy Spirit's 
work is most manifest. 

8. "Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit. . . . He 
went into the synagogue . . . and stood up for to read." 

He was one of themselves, brought up amongst them. 
But they felt that a force was amongst them such as they 
had never felt before. It was the power of the Holy Ghost. 

4. Note carefully. Jesus Christ accepted exactly our 
human conditions of service, and wrought only in the same 


power as that which was to be the strength of His Church. 
^^ Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost." The temptation turned 
upon the method by which the victory was to be won. God 
in His omnipotence could defeat any creature. That had 
already been done. But that the Man Christ Jesus, with no 
other force than that which all men could share, should go 
forth to destroy the dominion of Satan would be humiliation 
which would destroy his power — ^pride. Therefore the tempter 
says, ^'Let not Thme onmipotence lie unused and unacknowl- 
edged. Put forth Thy LMvine power." 

5. He Himself proclaims that the Holy Spirit is the secret 
of His strength (S. Luke iv. 15). The Spirit of God dwell- 
ing in Jesus Christ and filling Him with power, and so in His 
followers — this is the root principle of Christianity. 

6. Not ^Ho know the times and seasons." If we had lived 
before Christ's coming, we would have longed to be prophets, 
and to have told men that He was coming. But now we have 
a greater office than the prophets who foretold His coming. 
We, too, are to be filled with the Holy Ghost. We expect 
Christ to do the work — "Lord, wilt Thou?" He expects us 
to do it in the power of the Holy Spirit — "Ye shall receive 
power." Power, not exoiLsia, authority, but dimamiSf spiritual 
power, dynamite. 

Christ's Gospel is a Gospel of Power, spiritual force. Not 
a new philosophy, not a theory, not merely a revelation, not 
merely a higher morality, but God in man. This and this 
only is the essential of Christianity as a conquering power in 
the world. Christianity began with the Incarnation — God in 
Man, and this is the continuance of Christianity — God mani- 
fested in the flesh, men and women filled with the Spirit of God. 
Without this nothing avails. Having this everything else 
will follow. 

Conclusion: the Upper Chamber. 

A hundred and twenty men and women, no patronage, no 
endowment, no wealth, earning their living by toil, household 
duties, and yet they are to begin the conquests of Christianity, 
to turn the world upside down, until the throne of Caesar is 
claimed for Christ. How? Filled with the Holy Spirit. There 
is no limit to their hopes, for there is no limit to their power. 
This is Christ's idea of Christianity. 


The points to be noted in this chapter read in full are: 

1. Entire faithfulness to the thought of God. The 
preacher is reading God's thought out, not reading his own 
thought in. 

2. The naturalness of the divisions. He does not waste 
time in trying to comment on every word, but fastens unerr- 
ingly on the essential point. 

3. The excellent choice of reference to other Scripture, 
each reference expanding or illuminating the thought; no ref- 
erence dragged in for the sake of using it. No mere concord- 
ance work. 

4. In the full expansion there is not a word too little or 
too much. It is an admirable example of a clear, easily-remem- 
bered and effectual style. 

6. The whole bears the mark of a truth intensely believed 
in by the preacher and full of flame to kindle the souls. 

D. — ^Apologetic Preaching: Analysis and Extract from 

AN Address by the Right Rev. W. C. Magee at the 

Manchester Church Congress in 1888 

When the fixed papers had been read it was seen that 
Bishop Magee was in the hall, and he was urgently pressed 
to speak. The following is an analysis, with some extracts 
given in full, of this brilliant and extempore utterance. It 
should be read in full in the Congress Report for its balance 
and beauty, its depth of thought and delicacy of expression, to 
be appreciated. It is here divided into sections with headings 
only for the purpose of reference. 

Introduction. — I obey the call though unprepared. 

I have been wondering how much of these learned argu- 
ments the average person will be able to take away. 

The unbelief of the day is not only aggressive, it is almost 
omnipresent. You find it in your club and in your drawing- 
room. It is chattered to you by the first young gentleman 
you meet, who may be airing his free thought before he has 
learned how to think. It is lisped to you sometimes by charm- 
ing lips, as you sit at the dinner table ; it lurks for you in the 
newspaper, the magazine, and the novel. 

How are we parents Fo train our children so as to save 


them from these coming evils? Are you afraid, then, for Chris- 
tianity? No. But for individual Christians. 

Point 1 : No Demonstration of Christianity. — ^Never 
expect to silence infidelity. ^^There is no demonstration of 
Christianity." There are strong probabilities, there are pow- 
erful reasons, why we should bdiieve in Christianity. But you 
cannot get a mathematical demonstration of its truth without 
turning it from a faith into a science. Christianity is a faith^ 
and faith is "the evidence of things not seen." You must 
never, therefore, look to hear from anyone a final, complete, 
and crushing answer to infidelity. And why should you be 
alarmed at this? Because you cannot answer any objection to 
your faith, are you therefore to surrender your faith? Im- 
perfect state of knowledge. "Here we know in part and 
prophesy in part." 

1. First Answer. — ^Answer objection thus : What you have 
to do is to satisfy me that my faith is false ; but do you suppose 
that I shall walk out of my Christian home, the home of my 
Father in heaven, at your bidding, and then fight my way back 
to it through every pitfall and every snare you lay in my path? 

2. Second Answer. — ^Place opponents face to face with 
the objections to their systems. Philosophies are so many 
theories of human life. Christianity is a theory of human 
life. It sets itself to answer the three great questions which 
confront humanity in all ages — ^**Whence come I?" "What am 
I?" "Whither go I?" The answer of Christianity to the first 
question is, "From God"; to the second, "A sinner saved by 
Christ" ; and to the third, "To my Father's home in heaven." 
Confront the infidel with these questions, with the terrible 
enigmas of life, and if he does not shrink from them in cow- 
ardly agnosticism, which is not a philosophy, but a confession 
of the want of one, he will encounter difficulties respecting his 
theory harder of solution than any we have in regard to ours. 
Our contention is not that Christianity solves every difficulty, 
but solves more now, and gives a better promise of solution 
hereafter than any other known system. 

Point 2 : New Evidences. — ^Pessimism. — ^**Life is not worth 
Kving." Not new. S. Paul: "If in this life we are without 
hope, we are of all men the most miserable.*' You, the pessi- 
mist, with your unhappy ideas of life, with your troubled and 
tortured spirit, as you contemplate humanity are a new and 


powerful evidence of the truth of Christianity. From whence 
does this pessimism come? Mark where it comes from« It is 
not the poor man's, but the rich man's theory of life. The 
poor man, with the sorrow and trial of his daily Hfe, craves 
for ideals, and he will grasp at the ideal of the socialist, who 
promises him happiness in this life, or at the ideal of the 
Christian, who promises him happiness hereafter. But he will 
not embrace the ideal of the pessimist. He will not endure 
that addition to the burden of his daily trials. It is your cul- 
tured man, your rich man, your blasi man, the man who has 
drunk the cup of pleasure to the very dregs until he has nau- 
seated mind and heart, who will tell you that life is not worth 
living. And as he does so he fulfills the prophetic parable of 
the prodigal son, who has gone into the far country of god- 
less sensual enjoyment. 

Point 8: Pbssbnt Real CHKiSTiANrrY. — The great major- 
ity of the arguments of unbelievers are directed not against 
Christianity, but against some false or imperfect presentation 
of Christianity. 

1. Round about the central fortress of the Christian Faith 
there grow up in the course of peaceful centuries pleasant 
suburbs of pious opinions, just as round the central fortress 
of some city there grow up the pleasant villa homes of men. 
But when tiie enemy is in sight, what do the defenders do? 
They ruthlessly tear down the suburbs, at any cost of pain to 
the inhabitants, and then the fortress stands out grim and 
stem and strong in the face of the oncoming enemy. And so 
it must be with Christianity. Though you may witness the 
tearing down, now here, now there, of some pleasant place in 
which your mind found pleasant shelter in times past, do 
believe that this is but the clearing away of the suburb, and 
that the citadel is the stronger for it. 

S. Remember, too, that we have to deal with men who are 
counted as our enemies, but who are in reality our brethren, 
redeemed by the very Christ whom they deny. 

8. Remember that it is our duty to present to them, not 
merely a prepared schedule of Christian doctrines and evi- 
dences, but a nobler and better aspect of Christian life. We 
tell them that our Saviour came to create a better kingdom 
upon earth. They ask for a proof. Surely the proof should 
be that the kingdom of Christ among men is a kingdom ruled 


by nobler laws and by a mightier power for good than all 
others set before them. God's present creation. Let them 
see it springing up in the midst of modem society; let them 
see His divine kingdom revealing to all men a merciful God, a 
saving Christ, a sanctifying Spirit; let them see it in your 
homes and families, your words and deeds, etc. 

Point 4: Christian Optimism. — ^Have you ever thought 
how strangely and marvelously Christianity is at once the 
most pessimistic and most optimistic of all the philosophies of 
life? In one aspect it is essentially pes^simistic. What can 
be more pessimistic from the view of humanity than this, that 
it was so utterly lost that it needed the Onmipotent to come 
to its rescue? What can be more optimistic than the thought 
that the Divinity has allied itself with humanity in order that 
humanity may be made partakers of the Divine nature? Yes. 
Christianity is pessimistic. We see that human nature can 
descend from the glory of a Paul or a John to the foulness of 
a Whitechapel murderer, and rise to the height of a Father 
Damien. Between these two extremes who can frame a theory 
that will fit both? Who can tell us why there is so much 
of the ape, the tiger, and yet so much of the angel in men? 
Christianity can tell us. In the redemption and glorification 
of humanity through Christ humanity has lost itself in Christ 
as its regenerator. 

Pekoeation. — ^You, the pessimist, tell me of the sorrow, 
the suffering, the misery of humanity, and I tell of the time 
when death shall be destroyed and when sorrow and sighing 
shall be done away with, and when men will weep no more. 
You tell me here of mystery and difficulty and perplexity, 
and I tell you of the time when we shall know even as we are 
known; doubt and mystery, like sin and sorrow and shame, 
shall fade away in the white light around the throne on which 
sits the Lamb that died for mankind. There, in the future, 
lies the completed optimism of Christianity. Here, in the 
Christian life, though working feebly and imperfectly as it 
does, is to be seen the evidence of the truth of Christianity 
that we may take home to our hearts. Let us strengthen this 
evidence, each one of us, in our daily Christian life, and mean- 
while we can patiently await the time when the day of full 
unclouded vision shall dawn, and the shadows of our fears and 
doubts shall flee away for ever. 



I. — The Need op an Aim 

Befoee we can profitably discuss the means by which we 
may hope to become useful preachers, it is necessary to form 
some definite conception of our end or aim in preaching. For 
without a clear conception of our end we cannot judge whether 
the means we adopt in training ourselves for the sacred task 
which God has laid upon us are the right and the best possi- 
ble means for attaining our end. It is from the neglect of a 
clear conception of our end that we lose innumerable oppor- 
tunitieS} and that so much preaching can only be described as 
a tragedy of aimlessness. 

II. — ^Inadequate Ends 

We may note two ends which seem inadequate to satisfy 
the ideal of a Christian preacher: 

(a) The first is to be found in many books which are 
written from the Protestant point of view. They boldly de- 
clare that the one end of preaching is the salvation of man's 
80ul» that the conversion of the individual soul is the one and 
only end of preaching. "The aim of the sermon is the salva- 
tion of men." Of course, there is an element of truth in this, 
but it is a truth which needs to be supplemented by another 
truth, without which the half truth may become wholly false. 
If the one and only aim of the preacher is the conversion of 
souls, has he then no message for those who are already con- 
verted? Have those who think that they are converted no 
further need of listening to preaching? Is edification no longer 
needed? Such an inadequate conception seems to lie at the 
root of the decay of Protestantism, and its steady deteriora- 
tion in spiritual values. For if the one and only aim of preach- 
ing is the salvation of men, then it is necessary to attract them 



to listen, and the preacher's aim soon becomes to fill his 
church or chapel. Thus an inevitable deterioration takes place 
in the tone of the preacher's message, for people like to go 
where they can find a preacher who will acquiesce in their sins 
and fiatter their vanity, or stimulate their jaded emotions by 
sensational methods. To modify our message in order that 
we may attract and please man is to betray the preacher's 
commission, which is to preach the Word of God, ^Vhether 
they will hear or whether they will forbear." 

(b) In contrast with the mere individualistic aim of Prot- 
estant preaching, we may place the other extreme of mere 
submission — the ecclesiastical dogmatism which assures salva- 
tion to those who submit to the Church. If the conversion of 
the individual soul to a living and intelligent response to the 
Church's teaching is neglected, is there not a peril of the 
Church becoming a stagnant apathetic body of persons who 
have never taken the trouble personally to appropriate the 
Faith which they profess to believe? May not such preachers 
incur the condenmation of our Lord: "Woe unto you scribes 
and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to 
make one proselyte: and when he is become so ye make him 
twofold more a son of hell than yourselves?" (S. Matt, 
xxiii. 15). 

History seems to condemn both these inadequate ends — 
the merely individualistic, and the merely corporate. For 
souls who profess to be "converted" have often nourished a 
repulsive spiritual selfishness in a pietism which has been 
tolerant of the grossest social iniquity, while the over-emphasis 
of the corporate aspect of religion has tended to paralyze the 
Church by substituting confonnity for holiness. 

If we turn to the record of our Lord's preaching we find 
the harmonization of these two aims. For He came preaching 
the Gospel of the kingdom, and the need of repentance. "Now 
after that John was delivered up, Jesus came into Galilee 
preaching the Gospel of God and saying, ^The time is fulfilled, 
and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe in 
the Gospel' " (S. Mark i. 14). 


in. — ^The Heavenly Places 

1. The Union op Corpoeate and Individual. — ^In this 
Grospel, which unites the corporate and the individual, the 
kingdom which demands a moral and spiritual response, the 
salvation from self which can only be won by willingly losing 
the individual life in the larger self of a Divine Fellowship, we 
find the solution of that problem which meets us on every plane 
of thought — ^how to harmonize the best interests of the indi- 
vidual with the needs of corporate life. Rightly to grasp 
this truth is so vital to a preacher that it is necessary to dwell 
for the moment on this subject. In our search for truth it 
seems that every branch of study and department of thought 
finds it difiicult to transcend that dualism which fails fully to 
satisfy the soul, and yet which is the farthest point to which 
reason can conduct us. But in God we find the unification of 
this dualism and the full satisfaction of our nature ; and in the 
heavenly places,* in fellowship with God, we find the unity of 
life, the home of reality, the shrine of absolute values, and 
the rock upon which the whole edifice of our thinking may be 
firmly built. In this fellowship with God in the heavenly places 
— ^philosophy no longer oscillates between finding reality in 
subject or in the object alone — reality is in relationship, in the 
relationship of subject to object — i.^., in the heavenly places. 
Here on earth the deepest truths have to be expressed in para- 
dox: there, in the heavenly places, is the vision of the whole. 
Metaphysics having won its way by the light of reason to a 
dualism of being and in substance,^ lifts up its heart, and 
finds their unity in God. 

2. Absolute Values. — ^The true artist passionably dis- 
claims the utilitarian and the merely hedonistic explanation 
of beauty, refuses to recognize either the profiteer or the 
sensualist as the inspiration of his genius, and, lifting up his 
eyes, finds beauty to be the very radiance of the face of God. 
The scientist cannot tell us why the truth is to be preferred 
to what is false, and yet consecrates a lifetime of strenuous 
labor to the revelation of truth, which is enthroned in heav- 

* Of course **placc9" docs not occur in S. Paul's phrase, nor docs it rep- 
resent his meaning, as it implies space and locality. 'The heavenlies*' sug- 
gpst states, spheres, conditions, circles of being; but **placcs*' seems best for 
conventional use. 

» Sec H. H. Slesser's 'The Nature of Being," a study in ontology. 


enly places in the Person of Christ, Who is the Way, the 
Truth, and the Life. 

So the saint cannot demonstrate his values, and yet knows 
that the good is the very life of his living, and love the very 
breath of his soul. 

In the kingdom of heaven everything that has absolute 
value — the good, the beautiful, and the true, the ideal of the 
saint and artist and scholar, every thought of love, every 
word of kindness, every deed of self-sacrifice, the splendor of 
chivalry, the heroism of patient endurance, the courage of 
faith which stakes its life upon its highest impulse, the humility 
of the poor in spirit — ^find their home. 

The good, the beautiful, and the true are not like lovely 
flowers, which for a moment crown the upward striving of 
human effort and desire, and then fade away. They are, as 
seen by us, the manifestation in time of that which has its home 
and birthplace in eternity, the manifestation in space of that 
which knows no limit, the immortal whispering hope to a per- 
ishing world, the Real revealing itself in glimpses of the heav- 
enly vision amidst the changing shadows of a transitory world. 
The angel's whisper to a maiden's heart, the angels' song upon 
the hills of Bethlehem, which have won from the ages an eter- 
nal echo, belong to the real and abiding world, the worid of 
wills, while the sights and sounds which assail our senses belong 
to the transitory, ever-changing world which is for ever pass- 
ing away. 

IV. — Tkk Sacramentai. Peincipi.e 

Man is a being who lives at the same moment on two planes 
of existence. His birthplace and his home is in the world of 
wills (the heavenly places) ; his school and pilgrimage and 
battlefield, where he is to make his soul, is in the world of 
the phenomenal, the world of appearances. Made of the dust 
of the earth and the breath of God, by his body he belongs to 
the animal creation, and inherits from them many of the in- 
stincts, impulses, passions, emotions, and desires which have 
survived the process of evolution ; by his soul, in his power to 
think and will and love, he is made in the image of God. By 
his body he belongs to the things of time ; by his soul to the 
things of eternity. By his body he is confined to the things 
of space; by his soul he can play about in infinity. By his 


body, mortal, by his soul, immortal, he is a bein^ of a twofold 
nature, having within him both the capacities of an animal 
and the possibilities of a god; and the battle of his life is to 
determine whether the beast within him shall tear to pieces the 
God Who has made his heart His home, or whether the God 
within him shall subdue and reign over the beast. 

V. — ^A Twofold Message 

So the preacher's aim will be twofold, the coming of the 
kingdom by the salvation of the soul, the glory of God by 
the conversion of man, to awaken the God within man by 
the revelation of the God transcendent, to subdue the natural 
by the manifestation of the supernatural. But the kingdom 
and the glory must take precedence if he is to preach the 
Grospel as our Lord delivered it« "Hallowed be Thy name. 
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done — for Thine is the king- 
dom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen." 
The Word he is to preach is with Grod before He mingles with 
men. ^^In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was 
with God, and the Word was God," comes before the proclama- 
tion of the Gospel ; "the Word was made flesh and dwelt among 
us/' The first aim of the preacher will be by every means, 
by prayer and penitence, meditation and contemplation, by 
sacrament and sacrifice, to receive the Word from God. He 
will try in obedience to our Lord's command, "As My Father 
has sent Me, even so send I you," to be able to echo our dear 
Lord's own words about His teaching: "I speak not from 
Myself: but the Father abiding in Me doeth His works" 
(S. John xiv. 10) ; "As the Father taught Me, I speak these 
things" (S. John viii. S8). 

He must try so to preach that when he offers his sennon 
to God after its delivery, and his life to God when his time 
has come, he may be able to say with the confession of his sins : 
"For I spake not from myself ; but the Father which sent me. 
He hath given me a commandment what I should say, and what 
I should speak. For the words which thou gavest me I have 
given unto them" (S. John xii. 49; xvii. 8). 

No preaching will be of abiding power which is not drawn 
from the very heart of God ; and no word which is thus drawn 
from the heart of God will lack power, according to the 


angePs message: "No word from God shall be void of power*' 
(S. Luke i. 87). 

VI. — The Gospel of the Kingdom 

We have, then, a vision of the two worlds, the world of 
wills and the world of the phenomenal, a real world of abiding 
and eternal values in the heavenly places precipitating itself, 
as it were, into the world of the phenomenal, and seen under 
the conditions of time and space, which will enable us better 
to appreciate the nature of the Gospel. As preached by our 
Lord, it was a proclamation of the kingdom of God which 
demanded a response from man. Man is everywhere and always 
a response. The lungs do not create the air they breathe; 
they respond to it. The eye does not create the light which 
enables it to see ; the light plays upon sensitive cells till these 
gradually, under God's influence, associate themselves into an 
organ of vision. The Church does not create the Gospel it 
proclaims ; God plays upon sensitive souls until they gradually 
organize themselves, under His influence and instruction, into 
a Fellowship of the Divine Life, the Body of Christ, the organ 
of His Spirit, for the redemption of the world. The heart 
does not create its God, but responds with joy to the 
Divine call. 

It was, indeed, ^^for us men and for our salvation" that the 
Son of God became man. But what is this salvation? Is it 
not to be saved from our sins? And what is sin but selfish- 
ness? And how can we be saved from selfishness except by 
incorporation into the Divine Fellowhip? This fellowship 
with God is first of all, in the heavenly places, where we mingle 
with patriarch and prophet, with virgin and martyr, with saint 
and angel. But in the world of the phenomenal where we have 
to make our souls under the conditions of time and space, 
God, on the day of Pentecost, gave birth to the Holy Catholic 
Church, to be His agent for the redemption of the world, and 
the coming of His kingdom. 

If preaching is to regain its power, it is, then, of supreme 
importance to revise our aim. 

If we take for our motive the angel's song, "Glory to God 
in the highest, and on earth peace to men of good will," if we 
echo the message of Christ, *'Repent ye for the kingdom of 


heaven is at hand," we may hope to escape from that serious 
degradation of the Gospel which has robbed much modem 
preaching of its power. Dean Inge emphasizes this need of 
other-worldliness in an address partly reproduced in the 
GuarcUan, November 8, 1908: 

"The Professor drew attention to the acute secularizing of 
the Christian hope as shown by the practical disappearance 
of Hhe other world' from the sermons and writings of those 
who are most in touch with the thought and aspirations of 
our contemporaries. The Gospel has never been so preached 
before. From the time of the first martyrs to our own day 
the Christian has always felt that this world is not his home. 
His eyes have been fixed on the curtain which hangs between 
us and the Beyond, through which — as he believes — stream 
forth broken rays of a purer light than ever came from the 
sun. In all the changes and chances of mortal life he looked 
for the city that hath foundations whose builder and maker 
is God. He has enriched his mental pictures of this glorious 
home with all the fairest and noblest images that he could 
find in the world of time and space, and he has prayed every 
day that he may at last be admitted to the never-ending com- 
panionship of saints and angels in that eternal world and to 
the beatific vision of God Himself, whom those only can see who 
have been made like Him in holiness. And along with those 
hopes he has been haunted by the horror of perpetual exile 
from the presence of God — a doom so dreadful that not even 
by recalling all the ingenuities of human cruelty can we realize 
one tithe of the suffering that the soul must endure when it 
knows what it has lost. The only reality which belongs to this 
present life lies in the mysterious facts that temporal acts have 
eternal issues — that the purposes of God and the irrevocable 
destiny of men and women are being worked out on this shift- 
ing stage. This conception of Christianity is shown to be 
beyond all question that which Jesus Christ Himself requires. 

"The essence of Christianity is a transvaluation of all 
values in the light of our Divine sonship and heavenly citizen- 
ship. The first Christians were accused of turning the world 
upside down; and this is just what the teaching of Christ 
does if the average man sees the world right side up. The 
things that are seen are temporal, fugitive, relatively unreal: 


the things that are not seen are eternal, real in their change- 
less activity and inexhaustible fullness of meaning. Our 
Saviour lived Himself in the presence of these timeless reali* 
ties — and so living, He knew that the only thing that matters 
in this world is the life or soul, which is here on its trial passing 
through its earthly pilgrimage toward weal or woe." 

This other-worldliness is false and mischievous if it be 
merely "futurist," the promise of a future home, but true and 
vital if believed as a living present reality, the shrine of our 
ideal, the home where we abide in communion with the Word 
before we dare to preach Him, and the source from which, 
while preaching, we draw all our strength. 

When once this aim — the glory of God by the salvation 
of man — ^has been thoroughly accepted, it will profoundly 
affect the whole life and work of a preacher. It will purify 
his motive and save him from that vanity which makes us seek 
our own glory. It will correct that tendency of some 
preachers, who are very sensitive to the thoughts of others, 
to draw all their inspiration from their audience, and thus 
to present to their hearers a God Who is made in their own 
image. It will preserve truth from that timidity which robs 
it of its force by skillfully accommodating it to the imperious 
passion or unreasoning prejudices of the particular congrega- 
tion, or to the interests of the passing moment. The special 
disease of a sinful soul, and the leading characteristic of a 
scientific age is that man becomes hopelessly ego-centric. His 
whole thought centers round himself and his subjective brood- 
ings. A true conversion means that an ego-centric man be- 
comes theo-centric. The center of his life is shifted from self 
to God. Whereas, before his conversion, he, his own will and 
purpose, his likes and dislikes, his thoughts and feelings, were 
the center of his life, while God was afar off on the circum- 
ference ; after his conversion he has become theo-centric — God 
IS the center of his life, God's will his only purpose, God's 
presence his joy, and God's love his life. Gt)d is the center 
round Whom his thoughts and affections gather. A preach- 
ing which has the glory of God for its motive will reflect that 
glory in its message, and will be more free from those self- 
regarding tendencies which mark the sermons of those who 
give priority to the salvation of man. For it is to be noted that 



in the record of our Saviour's teaching He said so little about 
man's salvation, except that, "Whosoever would save his life 
shall lose it: and whoever shall lose his life for My sake and the 
Gospel's sake shall save it" (S. Mark viii. 35) : while His whole 
teaching rang with a passionate enthusiasm for the kingdom. 
By giving the glory of God the priority in our preaching 
we have the best guarantee of preserving the proportion of 
the Faith, and of being preserved from becoming "obsessed 
by the tyranny of the ephemeral," which concentrates excessive 
attention on the affairs of the passing moment, or the latest 
movement of the modem mind, which is generally out of date 
by the time that it is formulated. It preserves the proportion 
of the Faith because God is the whole and the individual soul 
is only a part, a unit which can only realize itself by losing 
itself in the larger life of fellowship. The root of sin to-day 
is sectionalism, or abstraction — >.^., the habit of divorcing 
things which God has joined together. So we find In religion 
the material divorced from the spiritual, the body from the 
soul ; in economics, wealth divorced from work, and work from 
worship, and labor-force from the laborer; In study, science 
divorced from philosophy, thought from feeling, the head 
from the heart, study from prayer, and Intellectual knowledge 
from mystic vision. The result Is chaos In every department 
of man's life, the spiritual, mental, moral, political, and eco- 
nomic. The one need of our age is some unifying principle; 
and this can only be found In enthroning God as supreme 
over the whole life of man. The Catholic Faith, which places 
God first and claims the allegiance of the whole of man's 
nature, can alone be the full Atonement, making man "at 
one" with himself by first making him at one with God. 


We have seen that the Gospel of the kingdom was the 
keynote of all the teaching of our Lord. It was the first 
utterance of His public ministry (S. Mark i. 14), and the 
last subject of His instructions to His Apostles when, after 
His resurrection, "He appeared unto them by the space of 
forty days, speaking the things concerning the kingdom of 
God" (Acts i. 8). HiIs was the burden of all His teaching, 
the keynote of that prayer which tunes Christian worship into 


harmony with the will of God. "Thy kingdom come, Thy 
will be done/' the meaning of every parable, the flaming en- 
thusiasm which inspired His sacrificial life, and the motive 
which inspired Him in His eager desire to crown a life of sac- 
rifice with the sacrificial death upon the cross. 

But it will lead to a fatal error if we preach the kingdom 
and ignore the King. 

1. An Inadequate Conception of Christ. — ^In the re- 
vived enthusiasm for the Gospel of the kingdom there is a 
tendency among scholars to treat our Lord merely as the 
prophet of the kingdom — ^the greatest of all prophets, the most 
divine of teachers, the highest product of the human race, 
the best example of humanity possessed by God, a son of Grod 
indeed, the most God-illuminated and God-possessed of men. 
Of course, all this is true, but it is utterly inadequate. It is 
true, for if, and when, the only-begotten Son of God does 
personally enter the world of the phenomenal by incarnation, 
when God, the Eternal and Infinite, is manifested under the 
conditions of time and space, He will naturally appear as the 
best of men, the greatest of the prophets, the most divine of 
teachers. This is all that historical criticism can tell us ; for, 
as with all science, it is a "flesh and blood" method of discov- 
ery, not a revelation; not an experience, but only the partial 
and imperfect analysis of an experience, a method which is 
capable of describing to us how the heart of man has sought 
for God, but is incapable of telling us how the Heart of God 
seeks for man. So we shall reject as utterly inadequate this 
teaching of a little group of Sadducees in our universities, 
who seem to have little or no experience of the saving power 
of the Gospel, the conception of Christ as merely the greatest 
of teachers, differing from us not in kind, but only in degree; 
the crude idea that we can substitute "believe Christ" for "be- 
lieve in Christ," substitute **believe what He teaches you" for 
"surrender yourself to Him by faith, that you may be one 
with Him, that He may dwell in vou, and you in Him." Just 
as Gibbon's shallow sneer that Christendom had been split in 
fragments by a diphthong was met by reminding him that there 
is only the difference of one letter between the statements 
"There is one God" and "There is no God," so we say, an- 
swer the merely naturalistic teachers that there is a world of 
difference between the teaching that **Christ is only a begotten 


son of God," and the Catholic Faith that ^^Christ is the onlj- 
begotten Son of God." 

The attempt to reconstruct a Jesus of history from the 
Synoptic Gospels and to substitute the appreciation of a 
great teacher for the worship of the Son of God, to treat our 
Lord as the herald of the Gospel instead of its content, to pre- 
sent Him as the prophet of the kingdom of God while they 
ignore His claim to be King, cannot be said to be based on 
genuine historical criticism. It seems rather to be inspired by 
a desire to fit facts into a preconceived naturalistic mechanical 
theory of the universe, and to ignore considerations which will 
make this theory untenable. 

It is a very serious violation of historical truthfulness to 
separate the Gospels from the Fellowship for which they were 
written ; to treat them as though they were the first presenta- 
tion of Christ to Christians, when it is highly probable that 
the earliest Gospel was not written till all S. Paul's letters 
(except the Pastoral Epistles) were in circulation; to treat 
them as though they were the only material from which the 
first Christians could draw their conception of Christ, when it 
is well known that none would have access to them or hear 
them read until they had been instructed in the tradition and 
admitted by Holy Baptism into the Fellowship of the Cath- 
olic Church ; to ignore the fact that instruction in the Creed, 
as expressed in S. Paul's Epistles, was the original basis of 
their acceptance of Christ, and that the Gospels were written 
as a commentary on that Creed in which they had already been 
instructed. This method of treatment seems to be unscientific, 
and to have no claim to serious attention. The method, ^^Here 
are three books, see what sort of a Christ you can reconstruct 
from them for yourself," is unhistorical and unscientific. The 
historical method is — ^**Here are three books which were writ- 
ten to preserve the memory of the earthly life of Him whom 
you have learned to love and worship as the Son of God." 

2. The Essence of the Gtospel. — ^As priests of the Holy 
Catholic Church we are not commissioned to preach the uncer- 
tain and ever-changing theories of the modem mind. Our 
commission is to be faithful witnesses to the Faith once for 
all delivered to the saints, the supernatural Gospel of the 
love of God for man. The essence of the Grospel is that "God 
so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son, that 


whosoever beUeveth on Him should not perish, but have eter- 
nal life" (S. John iii. 16). The preacher's aim wiU be so to 
present this truth as to awaken this belief in every soul to 
whom he speaks. His aim is not merely the manifestation of 
this truth, but the manifettation of it m ittch a way that it 
evokes the response of faith and accomplishes the union of life 
with life, the union of God and man. Thus the Apostles 
preached in the synagogue at Iconium, where they ^^so spake 
that a great multitude, both of Jews and Greeks, believed" 
(Acts xiv. 1). To believe in the Son of God is to yield our- 
self to Him with utter self-surrenden This is the act of faith 
which the Christian preacher must try to evoke. It is an 
action of the whole person moving Godward in entire self-sur^ 
render to meet the self-bestowal of God in Christ. This act 
of faith has in it an element of emotional appreciation, of 
intellectual assent, of spiritual perception and moral cour- 
age, the courage to stake one's life upon one's highest im- 
pulse. The preacher's aim, then, will be so to instruct the 
mind, to inflame the heart, and to move the will of those who 
hear him, that each soul will accept Christ as the only-begot- 
ten Son of Gt>d, to whom the Father has given the lungdom. 

8. Believing in Cheist. — If our preaching is faithfully 
to reproduce the tradition of the Apostles' preaching, and if 
we are to preserve the proportion of the Faith, we must not 
allow oursdves to be misled by modern uses of such phrases 
as "preaching Christ" or "believing in Christ," for they have 
been given a somewhat narrow and perverted meaning. We 
may gather from S. Paul's Epistles what Christ really meant 
to him and to those to whom he preached. This meaning may 
be classified under five headings. But many misunderstand- 
ings arise from the exclusive method in theology, the attempt 
so to insist on one aspect of our Lord's person or ministry as 
to exclude other aspects, to believe so intensely that He is the 
Son of Man that one loses faith in His Deity, or, on the other 
hand, to believe so loyally that He is the Son of God that 
one undervalues the truth of His perfect humanity, an emphasis 
on one aspect which destroys the proportion of the Faith. 

We may be preserved from the disasters of the exclusive 
method of holding any truth if we accustom ourselves to the 
free use of the method of concentric circles. 

4. The Method op Concentbic Ciecles. — ^When we 


meditate upon our own life we find that we live at the same 
moment in many concentric circles of relationship, responsi- 
bility, and experience. 

We think or believe that we are persons. But this is a 
pure act of faith incapable of proof, a mere axiom of thought, 
a mere postulate of intercourse. We believe that amidst the 
vast mysteries of light and darkness which surround us there 
is an ^^ego" which may be compared to the nucleus in the cell, 
a center which draws from the unfathomable depths of infinite 
mystery the material for self-reflection. So great are the mys- 
teries which veil man's nature that it is probable we shall never 
know ourselves until we see God face to face, and know even 
as we are known. From this central mystery of the unknown 
we move to a wider circle, and know ourselves better when we 
see ourselves in relationship to our family — Gloving one an- 
other — ^bearing one another's burdens — feeling mutually re- 
sponsible for one another. Beyond the circle of the family 
is the larger circle of the town, and, beyond this, of our 
nation, our Empire, the human race, and the whole universe. 
By the selective power of attention man is capable of creating 
for himself a universe of thought and values of many different 
kinds, as he chooses to fasten his attention on his home, or 
business, or sport, or study, or art. So we see the life of 
man expanding from a center unknown and apparently unknow- 
able, in ever-widening concentric circles, until the one is all 
and the all is one. To meet this mysterious human complex 
the Catholic Faith offers us a Christ who may be known by 
the same method of concentric circles. 

(i.) The Corndc. — ^Beginning in the unfathomable mys- 
teries of the infinite and eternal, where knowledge cannot pene- 
trate and love alone can know, the Word of God issues forth 
from the light unapproachable in which He dwells in the act 
of creation, what we may call the cosmic circle, or plane of 
ordered being. So S. John sees Him the eternal co-existent 
Son, by whom all things were made. ^^In the beginning was 
the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was 
God ; the same was in the beginning with God. All things were 
made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that 
hath been made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of 
men" (S. John i. 1). S. Paul bears the same witness: "All 
things have been created through Him and unto Him; and 


He is before all things, and in Him all things consist'* (Col. 
i. 17). That word "consist/* or "hold together," is of pecu- 
liar significance for this age, when human society is disinte- 
grating and falling asunder from lack of faith in God. So 
our first vision of Him whom we are to preach is in the cosmic 
circle of the ordered universe. 

(ii.) The Historical. — ^Then we may move from the cos- 
mic aspect of our Lord's personality to the historical manifes- 
tation. At the Incarnation the God who from the beginning 
was in every man, "the light which lighteth every man coming 
into the world," comes outside man, as it were, and moves 
across the stage of history. He who from the beginning was 
in the world of wills now enters into the world of the phe- 
nomenal, and the eternal and infinite is manifested in the terms 
of time and space. "The life was manifested, and we have 
seen and bear witness and declare unto you the life, the eter- 
nal life, which was with the Father and was manifested unto 
us." "The Word became flesh, and dwelt among us." "Grod 
sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh" (Rom. viii. 
8). "God sent forth His Son bom of a woman" (Gal. iv. 4). 
"The Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me" 
(Gal. ii. SO). In this sphere of the phenomenal science is the 
legitimate method of ascertaining facts, or things done, 
though it has no right to deal with truths or values. It is 
not experience, but the necessarily imperfect analysis of experi- 
ence; reverent historical criticism is the best we can do with 
a very imperfect instrument, working on inadequate material. 

(iii.) 7^ EcclesicuticaL — ^Around the same center there 
is another circle — the life of our Lord in His Church. This, 
we may remind ourselves, is essential, not accidental. The 
Incarnation assures us that God reveals Himself in man, and 
in Christ we believe we have the perfect revelation of God, 
"For in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily" 
(Col. ii. 9). But while we thankfully recognize that in Him 
we "are made full," that Christ, and He alone, abundantly 
satisfies all our needs, experience does not encourage us to 
believe that any merely human being can by himself fully 
manifest God to others. Every saint reproduces something 
of the life of Christ and manifests something of God. But by 
us men God can be fully manifested only in fellowship, not 
merely by isolated individuals. So in the circle of the ecclesi- 




astical we may know our Lord made manifest in His Body, 
the Church, ''That ye also may have fellowship with us: yea, 
and our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus 
Christ," It has possibly been this mistake of individualism 
which accounts for the failure of much of our missionary 
work, that we have relied on the single worker by word of 
mouth to manifest the life of God, which can only be fully 
manifested corporately in a fellowship. In the ecclesiastical 
circle, again, historical criticism has a place, for the Church 
is partly manifested in the phenomenaL But since the Catho- 
lic Church is to so great an extent in the heavenly places, it 
requires some mystic power to appreciate its values; and it 
is doubtful whether anyone can form any sound judgment on 
any fellowship from outside that fellowship itself. The mere 
onlooker at the Christian life may be thoroughly equipped 
in scientific method, but may miss the mark as entirely as a for- 
eign visitor who cannot speak our language may misunderstand 
every value, if for a few hours he watches our family life. 

(iv.) The Sacramental. — ^In the circle of the sacramental 
life of our Lord we have recapitulated many of the values 
which come to us in the other circles, none of which, of course, 
are exclusive; all are interpenetrative as well as concentric. 
So, when by symbol truth and reality are freed from the 
restraining and misleading tyranny of words, we find our soul 
moving freely through all the circles, either in succession or 
at once. Here at the altar in the Holy Eucharist, Creation, 
Incarnation, Redemption, Ascension, and Indwelling, all the 
concurrent processes of the life of Christ, the Godhead and 
the Manhood, the cosmic, historical, ecclesiastical, and mysti- 
cal circles are all centered in the Holy Mysteries. The sacra- 
ments, by uplifting the material universe on to the plane of 
the spiritual, and by evoking the interior by the appeal of the 
external; by the interplay of relationship of subject with 
object, wherein lies reality; by uniting the condescension of 
God with the aspiration of man; by concentrating thought 
and feeling in action, and so centralizing religion in the activ- 
ities of the will of God and man ; by providing localization for 
the infinite, and time for the eternal; give to us just those 
axioms which reason demands and religion requires if the life 
of man is not to swing indeterminate amidst the opposing mys- 
teries of light and darkness. They steady the mystical on the 


finn rock of the historical. They transfigure the historical 
with that cloud of mystery in which alone facts can be seen 
as they truly are. They correct the emotional by emphasiz- 
ing the volitional. So the life which was with the Father and 
was manifested to men, lives on in the fellowship of His love, 
and His words and deeds win from the ages an eternal echo 
in the sacramental life of the Church. 

(v.) The Mffiiical. — ^In this circle the individual finds 
within him a deeper reality of that self in the life of Christ 
within him, which is the very basis and truth of his human 
nature, his true self. ^^I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in 
me" (Gal. ii. 20). Just as the history of the whole world- 
process of evolution is recapitulated in each individual, and 
every individual is a microcosm of the universe, so in each 
soul the life of Christ is reproduced in aU its spiritual values. 
The Son of God, who is love, is bom in the soul, lives, teaches, 
is tempted, accused, betrayed, deserted, tormented, spat upon, 
crucified by sin, buried in indifference, rises again in repent- 
ance, ascends on the wings of every aspiration, and makes 
the soul at one with God. Probably, to many, such words 
may seem to be merely symbolical or metaphorical, an unreal 
application to the soul of figures which have been really seen 
upon the stage of history. This challenge to mystical experi- 
ence will explain why the method of concentric circles is 
recommended. For the mystic may answer the mere historian 
by saying that these figures which man thinks he sees on the 
stage of history are only concepts of the mind, and have no 
greater claim to reality ^han the state which the mystic thinks 
he experiences. Philosophy cannot turn the solipsist out of 
his solitary castle as long as he chooses to stay in it. It can 
only avoid him. It does not seem probable that man's un- 
assisted reason can ever arrive at full knowledge of reality, or 
of personal identity, by merely logical methods. But for the 
Christian who believes in revelation, that God has the power 
and the will to unveil Himself, that He has done so fully in 
the Incarnation of His only-begotten Son our Lord Jesus 
Christ, and that in the writings of S. John and S. Paul we have 
the true record of the values of our Lord; the Christian who 
believes in this revelation has a rational basis for his interpre- 
tation of the universe. He does not deny reality to any experi- 
tace* He believes in degrees of reality. At one time or an- 


other he moves more happily in one or other of the concentric 
circles of reality, according to the tone of his spirit. He 
passes readily from one circle to another, belieying that the 
one certainty is that the one life of God interpenetrates the 
whole. He believes finality is to be found in this interpenetrat- 
ing love, which is God. ^^I in them and Thou in Me, that they may 
be perfected into one," is his principle of unity and finfiJity. 

So when we say that the preacher's aim must be faithfully 
to preach Christ to the people we mean Christ in His fullness 
as the full and perfect revelation of God and Man. Such a 
preaching of Christ will not be sectional. Our Lord is 
not merely the Saviour of the individual souL He is also 
the Saviour of society, the Redeemer of the race. Christ 
is not merely a prophet or teacher, as though God were only 
an idea, and as though truth came only by vision. God 
is energy. God acts and manifests Himself in deed, as well 
as in truth. God's action in giving His only-begotten Son 
for us men and for our salvation is that which alone can 
manifest His true nature. For it gives us the true and per- 
fect interpretation of love. Love is now seen to be not 
merely an idea, or a sentiment. Its very essence is wiQ, which 
moves outward in energetic self-bestowal and self-sacrifice. 
Self-sacrificing love is seen to be no longer a mere sentiment, 
or an emotion, or something which God demands of man. Its 
sanction is no longer to be found merely in the romantic 
generosity of the hero who stakes his all upon his highest. 
Self-sacrifice is first in the heart of God before He demands 
it of man as the only possible way to self-realization. The 
Cross of Christ is now seen to be, not a disaster on the plane 
of history, but the ground plan of the universe, the manifesta- 
tion in time of an eternal verity, the all-penetrating, all-em- 
bracing law of life because it is the law of love. And to love 
is to live: there is no other life. Man's need of God's redemp- 
tion cannot be better expressed than in the following passage 
from Behrends^ "Need of Redemption," p. 49: 

'^Man needs Divine redemption. Something must be done 
for him. Humanity must be rescued by the hand of God, as 
well as atartled by His voice, and welcomed to His heart. It 
must be bom from above. Its prison doors must be broken, 
checked and reversed in the prisoner's veins. Reformation 


will not answer ; it only administers anodynes, whose only effect 
is to retard for a season the inevitable collapse. Socrates did 
not 3aYe Greece: the Stoics did not save Rome: Confucius and 
Sakya-Monni have not saved China and India. Ethical injunc- 
tions will not save man : the experiment has been widely tried 
and has always been a sad and conspicuous failure. Humanity 
needs a Redeemer, an historical and personal descent of the 
living God into the stream of its poisoned life, if that life is to 
be cleansed and sweetened. And this is the burden of the Gos- 
pel, that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself. 
That was more than the republication of the moral law. It was 
more than the revelation of God's universal Fatherhood. Love 
wins and conquers by what it does, not by what it says ; and the 
glad tiding of the New Testament are in what Jesus Christ did 
for men, and in the abiding energy of that work. The pierced 
Hands are no myth, the broken Heart is no accident, the open 
grave is no poetic fancy. They reveal much ; they have achieved 
and are achieving more. The air is not more indispensable 
to physical life than is Jesus Christ to man's redemption." 

We may, then, sum up the preacher's aim thus : So in word 
and deed, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to preach the love 
of God, revealed by His gift of His only-begotten Son Jesus 
Christ to be the Saviour of the world, that men will accept 
Christ as their Saviour and Redeemer, their Lord and God, and 
will meet God's majestic self-sacrifice by their own entire self- 
surrender, a self-surrender which will enable the Holy Spirit 
to take entire possession of them, and bind them together into 
one in the Fellowship of the Holy Ghost, the Communion of 
Saints, the Holy Catiiolic Church. 


Extract fkom the ^^Aim of Preaching," by Behrekds 

P. 44 : *^In a word, the historical triumph of Christianity is 
the immediate and practical result designed by the preaching 
of the GospeL We make the world's evangelization, the dis- 
ciplining of all nations, incidental and subordinate; it is in 
reality supreme and exclusive. The present prosaic earth is 
the territory which we are summcmed to subdue to the obedience 


of Jesus Christ. Here where sin threw down the gauge of 
battle and made man an exile from paradise, the conflict is to 
be fought out to its bitter end, until Eden comes back with a 
fairer and a perennial beauty. What Socialism blindly aims 
at through revolutionary and anarchical measures, Christianity 
is fitted and destined to accomplish for man. The cry of the 
poor is to be answered. Every burden is to be loosed, every 
yoke of oppression is to be broken. Ignorance is to be sup- 
planted by the wisdom whose beginning is the fear of the Lord. 
Drunkenness is to be exterminated and Sabbath desecration is 
to cease. The monster of lust is to be cast into the bottomless 
pit. The meek are to inherit the earth. The idolatries and 
cruelties of Paganism are to be swept away. And all this is to 
be done not by repressive and primitive legislation, but by the 
expansive and conquering energy of the Holy Ghost, entering 
into individual souls through faith in Jesus Christ, as He is 
revealed in the Grospel. Beyond it lie the day of judgment and 
the eternal years with their unfolding story which God has 
reserved to Himself. The philosophy of mortal history is all 
that has been disclosed to us. . . . Whatever mighty results 
the volume of the future may contain, the introductory 
chapter concerns the present conquest of humanity to right- 
eousness, until the wilderness shall blossom as the rose, and 
the lion and the lamb shall lie down in peace together. Earth 
is the battleground of the eternities, and moral forces are to 
determine the issue of the encounter. 

''This conception makes the Christian pulpit a living, burn- 
ing, perpetual need. . . . This, then, I conceive to be the Scrip- 
tural theory of the Christian preacher's vocation, the Divine 
philosophy of his commission, the reconstruction of humanity, 
the historical triumph of Christianity in all the earth. ** 

The Etbenai. "Now,** by Behkends 

P. 52: ''The present moment is all that has reality, and 
time and eternity are only different phases of the now. "Hie 
things that are seen are temporal, the things that are not seen 
are eternal.' And everjrwhere, at every moment, the seen and 
the unseen confront us. They meet in our composite person- 
ality: the visible body is tonporal, the invisible soul is eternal. 
They balance and interpenetrate each other in what we call 
the universe; so tar as it is visible it is temporal and changing. 


but its invisible energy as tooted in the will of the Living 
Gtxi, is inunutable, constant, eternal. Tliat is the Pauline 
distinction, and it embodies the profoundest philosophy. He 
does not say that the visible is unreal, nor does he say that the 
invisible is ideal; he is neither an idealist nor a materialist. 
The visible and the invisible are equally real. Paul speaks as a 
natural dualist. But the invisible is the root of the visible. 
It is the immutable, constant, eternal principle of the changing 
and transient. Wherever the invisible is there is the eternal: 
and if there be an omnipresent, invisible God, eternity is con- 
densed into every flying minute. Every conscious responsible 
soul holds the awful secret in its grasp. In virtue of its con* 
stitutional relationship to God, and in virtue of its natural son- 
ship, its present attitude and action are invested with eternal 
significance. Immortality is not eliminated, but is traced to its 
living root, in the invisible spirit, and eternity shows its 
majestic face behind the thin veil of time. 

^'The future has no dignity which does not fill each passing 
hour, and eternity is the pulse, the throbbing heart of time. 

^^It seems to me that this theory of preaching unites the 
evangelistic and evolutionary conceptions in a higher single 
comprehensive formula. It agrees with the evangelistic in rec- 
ognizing the world as a lost world, as dead in trespasses and 
sins, so exposed to imminent and eternal judgment, as sum- 
moned in these last days to immediate repentance, and requir- 
ing that renewing and sanctifying energy of the Holy Spirit 
which is connected with an obedient faith in the Gospel, for its 
rescue. It does not ignore the individual in the universality of 
its outlook. It accentuates personal responsibility, it paints 
sin in its darkest colours. It maintains the majesty of moral 
law. It knows only Christ and Him crucified as the sinner's 
hope of pardon and purity. It addresses each man as an immor- 
tal being, and invests every moral choice with eternal signifi- 
cance. It does not soothe with unfounded hopes. It urges 
to immediate and decisive action. On the other hand, it agrees 
with the evolutional or educational theory of the sermon by 
recognizing that the Incarnation was an historical crisis, that 
the Resurrection was an historical victory, and the mediatorial 
reign of Jesus Christ is an historical process. The present 
life of man is to be sanctified and sweetened, and the whole 
earth is to be made the abode of piety and peace." 



Ths preacher is a diapenser of the Word of God, an am- 
bassador of the King of kings, a chosen agent whom God has 
selected as one through whom He will communicate Himself 
to men. 

The preaching of the Word of God can never be mechani- 
cal. It is always co-operative. The ^cacy of the sacraments 
is not dependent on the sanctity of the priest, nor hindered by 
his unworthiness. They are divine acts and mystic symbols 
which were ordained by Christ Himself, and by which, in the 
power of the Holy Spirit, our Great High Priest forever min- 
isters to men and incorporates them into His Divine Humanity. 
Now a symbol liberates, while a word confines. Words are the 
strait-waistcoats of thoughts. They are very imperfect means 
of communication. They constantly change their meaning 
from age to age. They mean one thing to the man who speaks 
and often quite another thing to the man who hears. They 
limit and confine. They are seldom able, even in skillful com- 
bination, to incarnate the whole of a thought or an idea. They 
fail altogether whenever thought or feeling is lofty or pro- 
found: so that in the most sublime or intense moments of love, 
of ecstasy, of anger, or of fear, a man is dumb. Words fail 
him. They cannot express, or incarnate, the most intense pas- 
sion of the soul. On the other hand, symbols liberate the soul. 
At the Holy Eucharist every soul is set free by symbols to 
hold communion with God in the fullest lib^^y. Unhindered 
by the limitation of a preacher's mind each soul can bring the 
best he has of love and adoration, and receive all he needs 
from the inexhaustible treasury of the heart of God. So the 
preacher is an artist who has to express himself in a most im- 
peifect meditun, through the defective mechanism of an imper- 



feet brain and nenrous Bystem, and through the still more im- 
perfect material of such words as he can at the time employ. 
This must not discourage him. But it must impress him with 
the duty of doing his utmost to make the best use, as far as 
in him lies, of an imperfect medium and instrument. 

Since words, if they be true words, are a partial incarna- 
tion of personality it is obvious that the character of a preacher 
will go far to give weight and power to his words, and that a 
call to preach in God's name is a call to sanctity. It would 
be impossible to deal fully here with the whole subject of 
sanctification. All we can attempt to do is to emphasize those 
virtues, or talents, or qualities, which the preacher should try 
to win and cultivate. 

I. — ^Ektibs Coksbceation 

As man reveals himself to other men by a threefold in- 
carnation in thought, word, and deed, so God by the divine 
necessity of our nature can only reveal Himsdf to us in 
thought, word, and deed. We know so little of telepathy that 
we must speak of it with cautious reserve. But there seems to 
be much to encourage us to believe that when our thought is 
incarnate in a mental image and embodied in a passion to com- 
municate itself to others, when it is concentrated and aiergized 
by will, it may be able to touch some soul which is in sym- 
pathy with it before it finds expression in words. So God 
communicated Himself to the souls who were spiritually sensi- 
tive, the prophets. His Wisdom ^^remaining in herself renew- 
eth all things : and from generation to generation passing into 
holy souls, she maketh men friends of God and prophets" 
(Wisd. vii. 27). The preacher, then, will realize the possi- 
bility, some would say with deep conviction the certainty, that 
his inner life of thought, even before it becomes incarnate in 
word or deed, will communicate itself to some, if not to all, of 
those who attend his ministrations. If his word is to be indeed 
the Word of God he will attend with fervent love to the puri* 
fication of the very springs of character in heart and mind and 
will. He will seek with eager care that He *Ho whom all hearts 
are open, aU desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid," 
may never see an unworthy thought nourished in the brain, 
never see an unclean vision defiling the imagination, or a low 


motiTe enervating the will, and weakening its entire consecra- 

Did God indeed call you to preach His Word ? Is He willing 
to entrust His Word to you, and will you not try to be worthy 
of so high a calling? He does not ask of you great learning, 
nor lofty gifts of eloquence. He knows what you are, and what 
you have to offer: and He will not despise your little offering, 
if it be indeed your best. Can you be content to offer Him less 
than the best you can be, and do? The ordinary daily life of 
cfUT Lady, the spirit with which she did her daily duties, her 
intercourse with her neighbors, her prayers and aspirations, 
her entire consecration to Him and to His will, were seen by 
God with approval before He sent His angd to announce to 
her that overshadowing of His ^7ower from on high'' by which 
the Word of God was conceived in her womb. So if God sees 
in you a sincere effort after entire consecration, a fervent love 
for Hun, a pure intention for His glory in all you do and say, 
you will find favor in His sight; and, by the overshadowing 
of the Holy Spirit, that word will be conceived in your heart 
which will awaken the angels' song, and win the hearts of men. 


Under this general heading we may include all that is meant 
by ideihinos in Greek, or integer in Latin, a character which is 
true, genuine, real, upright. 

It is a principle of the Incarnation that God reveals Him- 
self in human life. God is not merely abstract thought. He is 
energy. Love is not a sentiment. It is a will. God reveals 
Himself not only by inspiration, but by word and deed: so that 
when the Son of God becomes incarnate, men hear and see the 
very character of God interpreted to them in word and deed. 
Words which are not confirmed by deeds may deceive. Our 
Gospel is ^^the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who 
is the image of Grod. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ 
Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. 
Seeing it is God that said ^Light shall shine out of darkness,' 
who shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of 
the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ" (2 Cor. iv. 4). 

Moral Integrity. — ^It was the moral integrity of our Lord's 
earthly life, the absolute harmony of the inward life with its 


outward expression, the perfect fulfillment of word in deed, the 
constant agreement of precept and example which enabled men 
to recognize Him as the Son of God, and to believe when He 
says "He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father^' (S. John 
xiv. 9). 

It is this absolute integrity that He expects of those whom 
He sends to speak in His name. The Incarnation is not merely 
a fact of the past, a thing done. It is also a process in the 
present, a thing continually going on. As God was manifested 
in Christ, so Christ is to be manifested in those whom He sends. 
The preacher must be so closely in communion with our Lord 
that he will think His thoughts before He speaks His words, 
and does His deeds. In the Incarnation our Lord's human 
nature was the spectroscope through which the one white light 
of the blinding glory of God, who dwells in light unapproach- 
able, was broken up into the many-colored rainbow hues of 
the perfect human life; and man saw the character of God 
pictured to him in the familiar terms of human affection, speech, 
and action. Even so our Lord expects those whom He sends to 
speak in His name to allow the light of God to shine through 
their character, and the words they speak to be verified by the 
life they live. Our Lord treats His mission from the Father as 
continued and extended in His Church. Our Lord's mission 
was not exhausted, or ended, in His three years of public min- 
istry. It was only a beginning, "that which Jesus began both 
to do, and to teach" (Acts i. 1). He continues both to do and 
to teach through His holy Catholic Church which has commis- 
sioned us to act and to speak in His name. He expects us to 
strive after that same moral integrity, that harmony of 
thought and word and deed, which He manifested in full per- 
fection, so that what we preach with our lips we shall eagerly 
and unceasingly strive to carry out in our lives. He whose 
whole life was dominated by a fervent passion to fulfill the 
mission on which the Father had sent Him, expects us to bum 
with that same white flame of enthusiasm for our work. "As 
the Father hath sent Me, even so send I you'* (S. John xx. SI). 
"Ye therefore shall be perfect, as your heavenly Father is per- 
fect." He who is the light of the world says to us : **Ye are the 
light of the world." He bids us **Let your light so shine be- 
fore men that they may see your good works, and glorify your 
Father which is in heaven" (S. Matt. v. 48; 14, 16). 


in. — Consistency of Life 

It is clear, then, that sincerity demands from us as preach- 
ers an unceasing effort to practice what we preach. The 
preacher who contradicts in his daily life the teaching which 
he gives to others is betraying Christ. May we not adapt 
S. Paul's words: ^^If thou bearest the name of Christian, and 
restest upon grace, and gloriest in God, and knowest His will, 
and approvest the things that are excellent, being instructed in 
Christian doctrine, and art confident that thou thyself art a 
guide to the blind, a light of them that are in darkness, a cor- 
rector of the foolish, a teacher of babes, having in the Creed 
the form of knowledge and of the truth: thou therefore that 
teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? Thou that 
preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal? Thou that 
sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit 
adultery? Thou who gloriest in the law of love, through thy 
transgression of the law dishonorest thou God?" (Rom. ii. 17, 

It may be said that since we preach Christ and not our- 
selves, since God has sent us to preach the loftiest ideal of per- 
fection, it is therefore inevitable that, however hard we try, 
our practice must fall short of our preaching. This is true. 
We are called to a task in which our own attainments must 
inevitably fall far short of our ideal. We are doomed to 
failure. ^ .i^^«^ 

But are there not two kinds of failure: the shameful fail- 
ure of one who does not try, and the noble failure of one who, 
when he has done his very best, falls short of full success? 
The preacher who does not try to carry out in his life the 
truths which he proclaims with his lips fails in intention and 
in will. His failure is in the center of his soul, in the springs 
of his character; there is a deep-seated schism in his soul 
which divorces his inner life from its outward expression, and 
brands him in God's sight as a hypocrite. He is guilty of the 
prostitution of his art; and that insincerity which makes no 
effort to harmonize thought and word and deed will, in the 
end, place falsehood on the throne of truth, and destroy his 
soul. The lie is not merely on his lips : it is, as Plato says, the 
He in his soul. Whatever triumphs of oratory he may win, 
whatever crowds and applause may greet his utterance, the 


corruption of his soul will dissolve the foundations of char- 
acter ; and faith, hope, and charity will wither away as the soul 
descends through falsehood to cynicism, and despair. This is 
the preacher's peril against which he must guard himsdf by 
penitence and humility. 

But the other kind of failure — the failure to attain — is in 
a different category. It is not a sin. It is the inevitable 
defect of human imperfection, the failure of which every artist 
is conscious whom God has called to interpret the heavenly 
vision, and who is hindered in the expression of what he has 
seen by his own past sins and present limitations, by the instru- 
ments with which he works, and by the material in which he 
must express himself. Neither God nor man will be extreme to 
mark what is done amiss if a preacher does his best, with hu- 
mility and penitence, to live the word he proclaims in the con- 
sistency of a virtuous life. 

VI. — ^Humility and Penitence 

Humility/ is that grace which enables us to see ourselves 
as we really are in God's sight, and should save us from the 
self-assertion and self-satisfaction of one who is unconscious of 
his limitations, or of the greatness of his subject. 

Penitence must be the deep undertone of a preacher's life. 
No man can really see the heavenly vision, can hear the song of 
the seraphim, and look God in the face, without echoing the 
cry, ^^Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of 
unclean lips . . . for mine eyes have seen the Song, the 
Lord of Hosts." No man should dare to preach the Word of 
God unless by deep contrition, and sincere confession, and an 
earnest resolve to amend his life, his heart has been purified 
from sin, and his lips cleansed by the living flame of Grod's 
forgiveness. The nearer we come to the light of God's pres- 
ence the darker will be the shadow of our sins. ^*I have heard 
of Thee by the hearing of the ear; but now mine eyes seeth 
Thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and 
ashes" (Job xlii. 5). This state of abiding penitence and 
humility will come readily to us if we are sincere in our desire 
to know ourselves. If we expose our soul to God, and allow 
the light of the Holy Spirit to shine down the long corridors of 
the forgotten past, and to bring to light the secrets of our 
hearts, the frequent inconsistency of our lives which have so 


often denied the truth we have taught to others ; if we remem- 
ber that our present limitation and inadequacies are not chiefly 
due to lack of talent, but to hours of sloth from our school- 
days onward, to days and years of selfishness or pride, to the 
refusal of the grace of the Holy Spirit in His gentle pleadings, 
to acquiescence in faults of temperament or of character, to 
the toleration of some lower standard of consecration than that 
which God placed before us, to the sloth or carelessness in 
preparation which has led to the loss of opportunity, we 
should not find it hard to win that habit of abiding humility 
and penitence which are the only appropriate vestments of a 
man who ventures to speak to others in God's name. This pro- 
foundly penitential memory of the past is not disabling to the 
preacher. Penitence is the very spring of progress toward 
perfection. The true penitence of cme who is forgiven does 
not waste spiritual force in useless brooding, nor unnerve the 
soul for high endeavor. It was the secret of power in S. Paul 
whose loftiest songs of praise to God are accompanied and 
exalted by the deep undertone of the memory of his past. 

F. W. H. Mtsis' ••S. Paul" 

Also I ask, but ever from the praying 
Shrinks my soul backward, eager and afraid. 

Point me the sum and shame of my betraying. 
Show me, O Love, thy wounds which I have made ! 

Yes, Thou forgivest, but with all forgiving 

Canst not renew mine innocence again; 
Make Thou, O Christ, a dying of my living. 

Purge from the sin, but never from the pain ! 

So shall all speech of now and of to-morrow. 
All He hath shown me, or shall show me yet. 

Spring from an infinite and tender sorrow, 
Burst from a burning passitm of regret: 

Standing afar I summon you anigh Him, 

Yes, to the multitudes I call and say, 
"This is my King I I preach, and I deny Him, 

Christ 1 whom I crucify anew to-day T 

If we can win something of the penitence of S. Paul we 
may hope to know something of his power^ and God can use 
the humble and the contrite heart. 


V. — ^Devotion to thb Teuth 

The sincerity which strives to preserve personal int^rity, 
the harmony of the inward life with its outward expression, 
will become a fervent love of truth, a passion which in a 
Christian ought to glow with the undying flame of worship, for 
he recognizes that Christ is the Truth. He proclaimed Him- 
self to be "the Way, the Truth, and the Life" (S. John xiv. 6). 
He chose this word to express the purpose of His coming, the 
meaning of His mission — ^'^To this end have I been bom, and 
to this end am I come into the world, that I should bear wit- 
ness unto the truth. Everyone that is of the truth heareth 
My voice." In answer to Pilate's question, "What is the 
truth?" we may say that for us truth is reality, and reality 
is God, and God is love, and Christ is the manifestation of 
the truth, and that in perfect obedience to Him we know the 
truth, and become truthful — Le., our whole being corresponds 
with final reality, we are in harmony with the rhythm of the 
universe, we have, here and now, eternal life, we are free. "If 
ye abide in My word, then are ye truly My disciples; and 
ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" 
(S. John viii. S«). 

From this it will be seen that the truth for Christians is 
known to be personal. It is not merely an intellectual proposi- 
tion, nor a moral affirmation, nor a spiritual perception, nor 
an aesthetic appreciation. These are various modes of per- 
ceiving, or of expressing the truth. But the truth itself is a 
Person, who welcomes recognition, demands obedience, and is 
wounded by betrayal. For the Christian, then, the truth is a 
complex which makes demands on the whole complex of human 
nature, the heart and mind and will. It is not merely an 
abstract intellectual proposition which may be grasped by 
the mind alone, but a word of life which demands moral affinity 
for its appreciation, and obedience for its verification. "If 
any man willeth to do His will, he shall know of the teaching, 
whether it be of God, or whether I speak from myself (S. 
John vii. 17). Moral affinity is required in a man who would 
recognize the truth. **Ye are of your father the devil, and 
the lusts of your father it is your will to do. He was a mur- 
derer from the beginning, and stood not in the truth, because 
there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh 


of his own: for he is a liar, and the father thereof (S. John 
viii. 44). 

Again and again S. Paul dwells on this moral aspect of 
the truth; speaking of the factious who ^'obey not the truth, 
but obey unrighteousness'' (Rom. ii. 8) : of men who incur 
6od*s wrath because they *^hold down the truth in unrighteous* 
ness" (Rom. i. 18) : of love which rejoiceth not in unrighteous- 
ness but rejoiceth with the truth" (1 Cor. xiii. 6) : of the law- 
less one whose coming is '*with all deceit of unrighteousness for 
them that are perishing, because they received not the love 
of the truth that they might be saved. And for this cause 
God sendeth them a working of error, that they should believe 
a lie: that they all might be judged who believed not the truth, 
but had pleasure in unrighteousness" (2 Thess. ii. 10). 

A stem and unflinching passion for the truth must be the 
habitual virtue of the preacher, because Christ is the Truth, 
and has given us the Holy Spirit to guide us into all truth. 
"Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth" 
(S. James i. 18) ; and the Word of God which the preacher 
proclaims appeals to that which is divine in every man for 
its verification, "not walking in craftiness, nor handling the 
Word of God deceitfully; but by the manifestation of the 
truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the 
sight of God" (12 Cor. iv. 2). And this moral aspect of the 
truth sums up the adoration of the redeemed — ^^^Great and 
marvelous are Thy works, O Lord God, the All Ruler; right- 
eous and true are Thy ways, Thou King of the Ages." 'TTea, 
O Lord God, the All Ruler, true and righteous are Thy judg- 
ments" (Rev. XV. 8; xvi. 7). 

The complex nature of the truth has been emphasized be- 
cause it has much bearing on the ethics of assent and con- 
formity for those who are commissioned to teach in the 
Church's name, and whose loyalty to the truth must include 
the corporate aspect of the Faith, as well as the personal con- 
viction of the individual. This twofold loyalty, at first, seems 
to suggest nothing but the possibility of conflict, for at any 
time the excessive insistence on corporate authority, or the 
undue assertion of individual freedom, may create a difficult 
position. But this possibility of conflict must not blind us to 
the immense gain of belonging to the Church which has been 
commissioned by our Lord to teach in His name. For it saves 


us from the certainty of missing, or losing, large sections of 
the truth which, at any particular moment, one's own soul 
may not appreciate or understand. The atomic theory of per- 
sonality which treats man as a separate, isolated, sdf-sufficient 
individual is a falsehood which has produced disaster in every 
department of thought or action. It is increasingly admitted 
that man is not truly man except in fellowship, in relation- 
ship to others. As reality is neither in the subject or object, 
but in the relationship of subject to object; as freedom is 
impossible for an isolated individual, and is only bom in the 
interaction of the individual and society, so truth can only be 
fully won in the interplay of the individual with the Fellowship. 
Christ committed His Gospel to the Fellowship of the 
Holy 6host« the Holy Catholic Church, the Communion of the 
Saints, the Brotherhood of the Baptized. It is a truth which u 
a life, a life of fellowship or brotherhood, for its essence is love. 
The isolated individual cannot grasp it by himself alone: he 
can onlv get a distorted and erroneous idea of it. The truth 
of the Gospel is in its very essence the experience of a corporate 
life. The isolated individual can only grasp a part of that 
experience. He is limited at every point, by lack of personal 
experience in youth, by the defects of his thinkincr, by the 
imperfections of his education, by the fluctuations of his feeling, 
by the variations of his temperament, by the books he reads 
or neglects to read, and by the companions he meets, by the 
state of his bodily health, and by the sins which stain his 
imagination, or blind or pervert his judgment. At any 
moment his appreciation of the truth fnust be partial and 
imperfect, and map be distorted and perverted. It should be, 
then, a subject of ceaseless thanksgiving that our Lord by 
Holy Baptism has incorporated him into His Body, the Holy 
Catholic Church, which is divinely commissioned to teach 
man. From his infancy she embraces him in the fellowship 
of a divine life, "The Word of Life (and the life was mani- 
fested and we have seen and bear witness and declare unto 
you the life, the eternal life, which was with the Father, and 
was manifested unto us) ; that which we have seen and heard 
declare we unto you also, that ye also may have fellowship 
with us : yea, and our fellowship is with the Father and with His 
Son Jesus Christ" (IS. John i. 8). The Catholic Church 
from his youth upward meets the unfolding complex of his 


human nature with the full complex of the truth which is a 
life in fellowship. She instructs hi9 mind, disciplines his will, 
guides his affections, iUuminates his imagination, corrects his 
mistakes, and attracts his devotion. When his personal faith 
becomes clouded with doubt so that he cannot see for himself 
the heavenly vision, she upholds him with the corporate Faith 
of the Fellowship. When his (>ersonal hope withers beneath 
the chill blasts of discouragement and failure, or his personal 
love grows cold in deadly selfishness, she rekindles the flame of 
hope and love by enfolding him in the fervent love of the Com- 
munion of Saints. 

This interaction of the individual and the corporate life 
in the appropriation of the truth, of course, needs many deli- 
cate adjustments, which are exactly parallel to those required 
in a good family. There is a place for authority, its rightful 
claims and just limitations, the authority of a father, and of 
a mother. There is need for obedience and docility, or readi- 
ness to accept teaching, but it is the willing obedience of a 
son, not the forced obedience of a slave. There must be a readi- 
ness to yield to others, humbly and cheerfully, for without 
some such self-surrender of the individual no corporate family 
life is possible. Perhaps these points will indicate the lines 
of duty for the preacher in harmonizing corporate loyalty with 
personal convictions in teaching the truth. 

VI. — Communion with God 

The consideration of that sincerity which forms the habit 
of living in touch with reality leads us naturally to consider 
union with God. As this is the whole of religion we shall not 
attempt to treat the subject exhaustively, but only touch on a 
few of the points which most vitaUy concern a preacher's life 
as it affects his ministry. 

1. Holt Fbae. — ^Any preacher who is in earnest about 
his work, and really believes in God, will desire to form those 
habits which will enable him to approach his opportunity in 
the spirit of holy fear. In all this discussion of the remote 
preparation for preaching we are considering the formation of 
habits which w31 become, when formed, a second nature. 
Preaching involves publicity. The preacher often has to cut 

way to the pulpit through a thousand distractions, con- 


versations with persons he meets, the kindly greetings of his 
brother clergy, who assault him with a machine-gun fire of 
irrelevant and bewildering conversation ranging from the state 
of the weather to the latest ecclesiastical crisis, then through 
that hotbed of anarchy, the choir vestry, before he can win 
the comparative peace of the sanctuary. The virtues of his 
immediate preparation will not survive this publicity unless 
they are protected by habit. If in eveiy thought about his 
work he has formed the habit of holy fear, and the recollec- 
tion of God's presence, he will have a sanctuary in his heart to 
which he can retire. '^Thou shalt hide them privily by Thine 
own presence from the provoking of all men: Thou shalt keep 
them secretly in Thy tabernacle from the strife of tongues.'' 

The present time seems to require a revival of reverence for 
the ministry of the Word on the part of those to whom it is 
ttitrusted. For are we not in real peril when clergy habitually 
speak of their ministry as ^^a job"? I am told that in the 
archives of the War Office there is an interesting document 
about forty years old. It is a memorandum from the Com- 
mander-in-Chief to the Secretary for War proposing the aboli- 
tion of the Chaplains' Department, and suggesting that the 
clergy should be *^paid by the job." This memorandum was 
returned to the Commander-in-Chief with a note written in the 
margin, requesting that it might be rewritten, as the Secretary 
for War considered it irreverent and unseemly to refer to a 
clergyman's work as "a job"! 

The history of preaching shows much fluctuation in the 
style of oratory, from the oppressive latinity of the earlier 
centuries to the boisterous familiarity of the friar. But if 
a preacher to-day believes in his calling to speak in God's 
name, it ought to be possible to find a style which will be wor- 
thy of his opportunity, which wiU avoid both the ponderous 
pomposity of the eighteenth-century preacher, who desired to 
display his learning, and the shallow familiarity of the present 
time which too often reveals its absence. The habit of holy 
fear in the preparation of his work wiU help to produce a 
method and manner of address which, even if it be most simple, 
will be a worthy vestment for the Word of God. 

(].) If he considers the Name in which he speaks, the very 
thought of it will purify his life, and fill his heart with awe. 
For the preacher must dwell habitually with God, who is a con- 


Buming fire, and the Word he is to proclaim issues forth, amidst 
the songs of adoration of the cherubim, from the central flame 
of the heart of God. 'Tor thus saith the high and lofty One 
that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy : 'I dwell in the 
high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and 
humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive 
the heart of the contrite ones' " (Isa. Ivii. 15). 

(ii.) If he considers the Word which he is to deliver, and 
remembers that it is Christ Himself who desires to manifest 
Himself and to find utterance through his lips, he will trem- 
ble with desire not to hinder the manifestation of Him whom he 
loves above all. He will pray constantly : ''Let not them that 
trust in Thee, O Lord God of Hosts, be ashamed for my cause: 
let not those that seek Thee be confounded through me, O 
Lord God of Israel" (Ps. bdx. 6). His whole life will be gov- 
erned by consideration for the Lord who has chosen him as 
His agent in this work, and his preparation will be inspired 
by an intense desire not to pain the Lord who dwells within 
him, and will speak again those words of eternal life which have 
won from the ages an eternal echo. "As of sincerity, as of God, 
in the nght of God, speak we in Christ" (2 Cor. ii. 17). 

(iii.) If he considers the subject, and the possible issues 
of his preaching, he will fear lest a careless or slothful lack of 
preparation may rob God of His glory, and souls of their 
salvation. *'But all things are of Grod, who reconciled us to 
Himself through Christ, and gave unto us the ministry of 
reconciliation; to wit, that God was in Christ reconciling the 
world unto Himself, not reckoning unto them their trespasses, 
and having conmiitted unto us the word of reconciliation. We 
are ambassadors therefore on behalf of Christ, as though God 
were intreating by us" (2 Cor. v. 18). 

The Word of God knows no limits to its power. At any 
moment, if only your utterance gives it a faithful echo, souls 
may be bom again, "begotten of the Word" ; some sinner may 
be translated from the power of darkness into the kingdom of 
the Son of His love; a soul may awaken to hear Gt>d's call, 
who will bring tribes and nations into His kingdom ; the heav- 
enly vision may be unveiled to a blind soul, and the course of 
the history of the world may be changed. This will not be 
seen in its fullness tiU all is manifest on the day of judgment. 
But just as the pressure on an electric button may set in opera- 


tion a long chain of antecedents and consequences, which will 
launch a ship, or explode a mine, or win a war, so in any spirit- 
ual preaching one can place no limits to the boundless possibili- 
ties. All we know is that, if we are faithful in our ministry, the 
word which was in the beginning, which was with God and was 
God, will issue forth once more from the bosom of the Father 
to plead with the men to whom we speak, and that no Word 
of God is without power, and that it will not return unto Him 
void, but will accomplish that which He pleases. 

(ir.) And, again, if we consider the persons to whom we 
speak; that amidst an ordinary Sunday congregation each soul 
may have its own special needs, known and unknown, its sor- 
rows and joys, its heart-break or ecstasy, its bewilderments and 
yearnings, its domestic tragedy, its unhealed quarrel, its des- 
perate discouragements, its fierce temptations, the awful re- 
sponsibility of speaking to a congregation of such souls will 
profoundly impress us. And in England at the present time, 
though preaching has so much decayed, persons still listen in 
such a trustful and docile spirit as should make a great appeal 
to the chivalry of him who speaks in God's name to be worthy 
of their trust. ^^We thank God without ceasing, that, when ye 
received from us the word of the message, even the Word of 
God, ye accepted it not as the word of men, but, as it is in 
truth, the Word of God, which also worketh in you that 
believe" (1 Thess. ii. 13). Surely anyone who is not dead to 
all nobility of soul will approach this work with fear and trem- 
bling; and just because the people trust him, and God has 
called him, he will try to be worthy of that trust and of that 
great vocation. 

If it be urged that no man could face the f requ^it calls 
to preach if he dwelt too vividly on the awful responsibility of 
his work, this is granted. It is for this reason that the sub- 
ject has been treated as a part of the remote preparation. 
'This holy fear should be the abiding background of a preach- 
er's every effort, the habit which has sunk so deeply into the 
springs of his character that, without unnerving him by being 
perpetually renewed in his conscious life, it will still give the 
tone of awe, and the sense of speaking in Grod's name, to the 
most normal utterance of his daily duties, the address to 
a mothers' meeting, or an instruction to candidates for 


2. T^E Love op God. — Since love is the beginning and 
end of all things, the key to the mystery of the universe, the 
final word of the revelation of God that "God is love," it con- 
stitutes the whole of religion, and all religion may be expressed 
in terms of love. 

(i.) But before dwelling on the preacher's need of an abid- 
ing communion with God in love, it will be necessary to recon- 
stitute that word in its essential meaning. For the slipshod, 
careless use of words has degraded love from its strong and 
virile meaning as a self-sacrificing and righteous will to the 
level of a sickly sentiment of the self-indulgent. Love has 
many counterfeits, false gods made by man in the image of his 
fallen nature. Lust often poses as love, and we must learn to 
distinguish between them. Love is not that merely aesthetic 
appreciation which likes and enjoys the glow produced in its 
spirit by what is beautiful and harmonious ; nor is it that intense 
desire to possess for oneself exclusively; nor that slothful in- 
difference which is sometimes called ^^good nature,'' which 
acquiesces in evil and tolerates whatever does not cause it per- 
sonal inconvenience. All these are modifications of lust, which 
is essentially self-regarding and self-indulgent. Love is self- 
bestowal. Lust is self-appropriation. Love is self-sacrifice. 
Lust is self-indulgence. Love is a desire to give. Lust is a 
desire to get. Love seeks to satisfy another. Lust seeks to 
satisfy itself. Love is fellowship. Lust is selfish isolation. 
Love integrates the soul into an eternal harmony. Lust dis- 
integrates the soul into eternal discord. 

(ii.) The love of God is not merely a sentiment; it is an 
energetic will. It is an eternal will to all good for all men. 
Its central essence is self-bestowal. The mark by which it can 
be recognized and distinguished from lust is the impulse to 
self-sacrifice. It is essentially a righteous will, which can be 
stem and terrible toward all that is evil, to all that threatens 
its destruction. God's love has in it nothing of that good- 
tempered indifference to evil which is so often mistaken for love 
by Englishmen ; His wrath is merely the obverse of His right- 
eousness, the rock against which evil inevitably shatters itself. 
It is this righteous will to all good for all men with which 
the preacher must hold communion until it has penetrated the 
deepest depths of his character, and become his own. This 
perpetual osmosis between God and man, the human and the 


divine, this process of interpenetration by which God dwells 
in us and we in Him, a process which does not destroy our 
faculties or our personality, but purifies, heals, empowers, and 
exalts them to a higher plane, so that the preacher may become 
a burning bush aflame with God yet unconsumed, is the 
method of our redemption ; and it must be the central habit of 
the preacher's life, as it is the supreme exaltation of his 
oiSce. For by this interpenetration God shows His respect 
for our personality. He will not use us as unconscious instru- 
ments, but as co-operative agents ; not as slaves obedient to a 
necessity imposed by force, but as sons freely offering, a willing 
response to love. "The love of Christ constraineth me.** God 
desires the tone of love even more than the cold perfection of 
infallibility; so the Word passes through a human heart, and 
is not ashamed of the accent of our personality. It is this 
call to co-operate with God, this condescension which will make 
the best of our weakness, this loving kindness which asks us 
to help, which should stimulate the preacher, more than any 
fears or threatenings, to conquer selfishness and sloth, and to 
offer to God the highest energies of a surrendered wiU. Grod 
appeals to our chivalry, rather than to our fear. 

8. RECOLI.ECTION. — RecoUection is the habit of living in 
God's presence. How can we tell whether we are abiding in 
Him? He has given us a sure test. "God is love, and he that 
abideth in love abideth in God, and God abideth in him" (IS. 
John iv. 16). This recollection of God's presence will not take 
the form of perpetual ecstatic vision, or of strenuous mental 
effort ; it will be manifested and verified by unfailing kindness 
and courtesy and consideration for those around us. For "he 
who loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, cannot love God 
whom he hath not seen." "No man hath beheld God at any time : 
if we love one another God abideth in us, and His love is per- 
fected in us." By the habitual recollection of Gt)d's presence 
we do not mean a strained effort of the conscious mind not to 
forget Him, but that spirit of faith which instinctively refers 
all things to God, that mentality which instinctively refuses 
the values of the world, and sees things as they are in God's 
sight, and in relationship to Him. It is the gradual forming 
of the mind of Qirist within us. It will instinctively repel 
thoughts which are base, or unworthy, or unclean. It will 
habitually dwell on what is good, and beautiful, and true. 


** Whatsoever things are honorable, whatsoever things are just, 
whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, 
whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue; if 
there be any praise^ think on these things" (Phil. iv. 8). 

In contact with other persons the worldly mind is quick 
to note any defect, oddity, or imperfection. The mind of 
Christ instinctively notes what is good, and makes the best 
of every man. ^^Love taketh no account of evil" (1 Cor. 
xiii. 5). 

The habit of recollection, then, is especially needed by the 
preacher because it is the abiding in Christ which makes all 
our work fruitful; because it repds evils which can only find 
entrance into the vacant heart, empty, swept, and garnished; 
because it conserves mental force, which nowadays is so often 
dissipated by the daily impact of the whole world upon each 
mind through the Press. **The soul is dyed the color of its 
thought," and the mentality of the preacher when he begins to 
concentrate his attention on the composition of his sermon 
is the total result of all his habits of thought. Bergson regards 
the function of the brain to be the elimination of a large part 
of the totality of our memory so that we can attend to the 
matters in hand. It seems true also to say that the habitual 
control of thought gives us a selective power over our imag- 
ination, so that vague images of what is undesirable are not 
allowed to take foim, or, if formed, are quickly dissipated, and 
desirable images become more vivid by the elimination of those 
which are worthless or eviL The most frequent complaint of 
earnest souls is that of ^ Vandering thoughts." Habitual recol- 
lection of God's presence by the restraint of thought enables 
a man swiftly to concentrate his attention on his work. The 
habitual control of thought will help us also in the restraint 
of speech. Some souls allow all spiritual force to dribble 
away in mere garrulity, so thi^t they perpetually live on the 
surface, and become hard and shallow. No divine thought is 
allowed time to bum into a deep conviction. Thoughts are 
exposed to publicity before they have been tested, purified, 
or strengthened by meditation, as a callous prostitute might 
expose her unwelcome offspring, dirty and uncared for, to the 
public gaze. But our holy Mothery who nourished in the sanc- 
tuary of her womb the very Word of God for months before 
He was brought forth to receive the adoration of men and 


angels, is a model of restraint to all preachers, as she **kept all 
these sayings, pondering them in her heart" (S. Luke ii. 19). 

If we remember the solemn warnings of our Lord against 
careless ispeech, we shall aUow the recollection of God's pres- 
ence to restrain our words. ^^For out of the abundance of 
the heart the mouth speaketh." ^^And I say unto you, that 
every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give an account 
thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt 
be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condenmed" (S. 
Matt. zii. 86). ^^If any stumbleth not in word, the Bame is a 
perfect man'' (S. James iii. £-12). ^^For lo! there is not a 
word on my tongue, but Thou, O Lord, knowest it altogether" 
(Ps. czxxiz. 8). 

4. PsATBB. — ^The spirit of prayer is the soul of sacred 
oratory, for the preacher must draw his inspiration from the 
heart, and mind, and will of God. He cannot be content with 
the few moments of vocal prayer morning and evening, or with 
the formal recitation of the Divine Office which is his duty as a 
priest. He must set aside at least half an hour every day for 
undisturbed communion with God. And it is necessary to insist 
that this must be entirely separate from his meditation on the 
subject of his sermon, which will be dealt with later. His per- 
sonal communion with God must have no immediate homiletical 
intention, or he will lose its value. For if he allows the iiiought 
of a future sermon to intrude on his personal meditation, he 
will inevitably think of the subject as it affects other people, 
and will miss God's message to himself. The purpose of per- 
sonal meditation is to expose his soul to Divine influences, to 
revive the tired activities of the soul by bathing it in the ocean 
of God's love. In constant contact with the mechanism of a 
machine-made age, when the forces of the material universe 
weigh down and crush the spiritual values of personality, when 
we are daily confronted with the unlimited power of money, the 
worship of mammon — ^which has imposed a cash valuation even 
on spiritual gifts and opportunities — the preacher needs con- 
stantly to renew his faith, hope, and love in personal com- 
munion with God. 

There is another reason why those who preach often should 
devote much time and effort to mental prayer. Good preaching 
involves a real issuing forth of the soid upon the wings of 
words. The word must have in it the whole force of a man's 


personality. It must embody his thought, not as a lifeless 
image, cold and passionless, but as a living offspring, vital 
with the flame of deep conviction, warm with the throbbing 
pulse of genuine emotion. For the human spirit thus to issue 
forth from its inner sanctuary and spread itself over a con- 
gregation, to embrace them in its love and share with them its 
vision, its passion, and its emotion — ^thus to expose one's soul 
is an exhausting process which makes great demands on a 
man's nervous constitution and spiritual resources. This 
exposure, often repeated, forms for itself familiar phrases of 
expression. These, while they add to his facility in speech, 
inevitably imperil his sincerity, and the genuine correspond- 
ence of tihe inner emotion with its outward expression, so that 
the most sacred word or phrase, e.g.^ *^the love of Jesus," may 
become a counter, or a coin, which represents what once he 
fdt, but no longer feels to the same extent. Language is a 
currency which is subject to swift and serious depreciation. 
Its face value may no longer represent its real worth. The 
phrase, which was born of genuine passion, or leaped fully 
armed from the flame of enthusiasm, may be repeated when the 
heart no longer bums with the love which gave it birth ; and the 
preacher may awaken to find himself habitually using a lan- 
guage which has ceased to be real, and genuine, and sincere. 
To save him from this disaster of unreality he must be very 
careful of his own spiritual life, persevering in meditation for 
the renewal and revival of his personal union with God. 

In his personal meditation he will find what most he needs. 
Reit and peace. ^1n returning and rest shall ye be saved : in 
quietness and in confidence shall be your strength" (Isa. xxx. 
16). ^^The eternal God is thy dwelling place, and underneath 
are the everlasting arms" (Deut. xxxiii. 87). ^^Thou shalt hide 
them privily by Thine own presence from the provoking of all 
men: Thou shalt keep them secretly in Thy tabernacle from 
the strife of tongues" (Ps. xxxi. 80). Renewal of tired facnJr 
ties; for the sins of good people come chiefly from exhaustion. 
In meditation you look Him in the face who says: "Behold, 
I make all things new" (Rev. xxi. 6). Every tired faculty is 
renewed. "All my fresh sprinsrs (fountains) shall be in Thee" 
(Ps. Ixxxvii. 7). *Tor with Thee is the fountain of life, and 
in Thy light shall we see light" (Ps. xxxvi. 9). Revelation. 
In the stillness of your mental activities when you become "as 


one dead," when the world with all its bewildering distractions 
rolls away upon its course, leaving you face to face with Gfod, 
God will show you new aspects of His love and purpose, new 
splendors of the mystery of His being, new revelations of your- 
self, and of what He requires of you. The preacher who never 
meditates will soon find that he shines only with the reflected 
thoughts of other men, and speaks only as a scribe, without 
the authority of personal conviction. But the preacher who 
meditates will speak with the authority of real experience. He 
is no longer lit from without, but from within. He is no longer 
a channel for other men's thoughts, for the Holy Spirit opens 
in his heart those fountains of living waters which cleanse, and 
revive, and make fruitful every field of thought, or feeling, or 

No peril is greater for the preacher than the peril of 
becoming decentralized from Grod, and speaking merely in the 
power of natural endowment, or of acquired skill. No pain is 
greater to the preacher than the pain of trying to flog an 
exhausted brain to produce its stillborn thought. We are 
saved both from the peril and pain, if, by persevering effort, 
waiting upon the Lord in mental prayer has become a duty 
transfigured into a joy, which may at any moment mount up 
into ecstasy, when the soul, waiting at first in the dull gray 
silence of weariness and spiritual exhaustion, may find it at 
any moment, shot through and through with the many colors 
of eternity, a silence full of song. 

'^Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard? the everlast- 
ing GtMl, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, faint- 
eth not, neither is weary; there is no searching of His under- 
standing. He giveth power to the faint : and to him that hath 
no might He increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint 
and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall : but they 
that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength ; they shall 
mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be 
weary; they shall walk, and not faint" (Isa. xl. 27). 

We cannot conclude this section better than by quoting 
the words of P&re Gratry, which are even more true to-day 
than when they were first spoken: 

Need of Meditation, — ^**We are all more and more deficient in 
depth and recollection. The world moves on with ever-increas- 


ing rapidity. Movement becomes multiplied and intensified in 
every shape, moral, intellectual, and physical. But beneath this 
surface movement, I fear, one discovers that there is a slackening 
of central impetus. We whirl about more, but we advance less. 

^*It is a universal blot ; every living thing finds the difficulty 
of self-recollection, of gathering itself together, and abiding 
steadfast at the heart's core. 

^^It is that which S. Bernard calls evisceratio mentis (the 
disembowling of the soul). S. Augustine alludes to the same 
evil, viscera quasdam ammo:, when he says that a man throws 
the inner depths of his soul into his outer life. 

"Life hurries on, spreads itself far and wide, but the source 
of life dries up. Mental and spiritual progress consists in 
intensifying the inward life. There is a mighty central life 
within the vast sphere of a man's soul which seems to be for- 
gotten, a deserted, an unheeded altar, a neglected sanctuary, 
a lost fountain-head. 

^'In days of old, there were monks whose whole life was 
absorbed in this great center, and who found peace, light, and 
happiness therein. To them it furnished the motive power, 
the life of all things. But in these days where shall we find 
such calm, deep minds, dwelling in the invisible, wrapped in 
heavenly things, ever facing eastward amid the whirl of life? 
Who now believes in recollection, retirement, or prayer? 

'^All our strength, as priests, lies in prayer and faith, nour- 
ished in our souls by recollection and retirement, by the habit 
of that interior life which alone fosters holiness, light, and 
love. We shall never become useful ministers of the Gospel 
by multiplying our surface efforts, or by accumulating good 
works; that can only be done through the mighty power of 
a humble heart, which leans on God, of a thoughiEful soul which 
drinks deep of Him. The soul without recollection is as a body 
without sleep, fever must come on, and death ensue." 

Other things being equal, a preacher's power will be in 
proportion to the intensity of his desire for God, and to the 
perseverance and reality of his prayer. 

Kay, bnt much rather let me late returning. 
Braised of my brethren, wounded from within. 

Stoop with sad countenance, and bhishes burning, 
Bitter with weariness, and sick with sin, — 


Then as I weary me, and long and languSshi 
No wise availing from that pain to part — 

Desperate tides of the whole great world's anguish 
Forced through the channels of a sfaigle heart — 

Straight to Thy presence get me, and reveal it, 
Notiiing ashamed of tears upon Thy feet, 

Show the sore wound, and beg Thy hand to heal it. 
Pour Thee the bitter, pray Thee for the sweet 

Then with a ripple and a radiance through me 
Rise and be manifest, O Morning Star I 

Flow on my soul, thou Spirit, and renew me. 
Fill with Thyself, and let the rest be far. 

How have I knelt with arms of my aspiring 

Lifted all night in irresponsive air. 
Dazed and amased, with over-much desiring. 

Blank with the utter agony of prayer! 

Shame on the flame so dying to an ember 1 

Shame on the reed so lightly overset I 
Yes, I have seen Him, can I not remember? 

Yes, I have loiown Him, and ran Paul forget? 

VII. — ^The Holy Sacrifice 

If God were only Thought or Idea, then there would be 
no need to preach about Him. The highest form of com- 
munion with Him would be in the poet's dream or the artist's 
vision of beauty, or in the solitary mystic's sense of union with 
the All. Those who saw God would worship His compelling 
beauty; and those who were blinded by sin would miss the 
vision and worship other gods. But this is not the God of 
whose progressive revelation of Himself we have the record 
in ijie Bible. God has revealed Himself not merely as Thought 
or Idea, but as Energy and Will. God's Love, His righteous 
will to all good for all men, is the purpose which penetrates 
the universe, which gives to every creature the law of its being, 
which interprets all history and tests all values. Only in the 
light of this ultimate purpose of God to win the free adoring 
love of His sons can we find any test of progress, any mean- 
ing in life, any crown to theprocess of evolution, any fixed 
basis for rational thought. When we recognize that the uni- 
verse is not a machine but a person, when we see that in man 
the universe has become self-conscious, and in his response to 


the ultimate values of the good, the beautiful, and the true, 
that man becomes God-conscious — only then, when man offers 
a free response of love to the call of the love of God, has life 
a worthy meaning. When in man the universe breaks forth 
into songs of praise and adoration, when man recognizes himself 
as the high priest of the universe whose lofty destiny it is to 
offer up the universe to God that He may reign. His name be 
hallowed. His kingdom come, His will be done, only then cio..-> 
life become worth living, intelligible, truly rational, shot 
through and through with a high and holy purpose. 

But since man is, as a matter of fact, fallen, he naturally 
jieeks some lesser purpose, some selfish end of his own. He 
must be redeemed from the selfishness of atomic personality, 
that isolation of the individual which destroys the very pos- 
sibility of love. And as the very essence of sin is selfishness, 
the only possible redemption is in self-sacrifice. So God 
redeems man by incorporating him into a Divine Fellowship, 
the Holy Catholic Church. In this Fellowship he is redeemed 
by fulfilling the first law of eternal life, that self-realization 
can only come by self-sacrifice. This necessity of self-sacrifice 
is not a mere accidental consequence of sin, nor an arbitrary 
demand which God makes on man. It is the energy of the very 
Being of God, who is Love. Love is self-bestowal in self-sacri- 
fice. The Christian sees in the Cross of Christ not merely the 
ground plan of the universe, but also the central spring of the 
heart of God; and the whole Gospel is summed up in those 
words : ^*God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begot- 
ten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish, 
but have eternal life" (S. John iii. 16). 

Now the whole of this vast mystery of the Love of Qod is 
enshrined in the central act of Christian worship, the Holy 
Eucharist; and the preacher who desires to keep near to God, 
and to draw his message from the very heart of God should 
desire day by day to offbr, or to assist in offering, the Holy 
Sacrifice. For these reasons: 

1. Thx At-ons-mknt. — ^The offering of the holy Sacri- 
fice of Christ reconciled the world to God, made the great 
reunion or at-one-ment of man with Grod. When that sacri- 
fice of a perfect human life was sealed by the perfect death 
and raised from the dead, uplifted at the Ascension, and our 
human nature in its full perfection of heart and mind and 


will, of the Most Holy Body and Most Precious Blood was 
enthroned in the heart of God the reunion, the Atonement 
was accomplished. The prodigal human race has been brought 
home. Once more the home of man is in the heart of God, in 
order that the home of God may be in the heart of man. In 
the Blessed Sacrament of the Body and Blood of our Lord 
Jesus Christ we have God's own appointed means for enabling 
every soul to be caught up in the embrace of this At-one-ment, 
this reunion, by which God dwells in us, and we in Him. To 
awaken that faith which will enable each soul to respond to the 
love of God so that God may penetrate his inmost being is 
the preacher's hope and purpose. When in a devout com* 
munion he has himself known this union with God, he will speak 
with the profound experience of conviction to those to whom 
God sendis him. 

2. Pbntecost. — ^The faithful offering of the Holy Sacri- 
fice liberates vast spiritual energies and forces of the unseen 
world. When first our Great High Priest presented His per- 
fect Sacrifice to the Father, the Holy Spirit descended in 
tongues of fire on the Apostles. If you desire your heart to be 
cleansed and your words to bum with the flame of Pentecost, 
the frequent and fervent pleading of the Holy Sacrifice will 
strengthen you with the Apostolic conviction of one who in 
the upper chamber of the sanctuary has held communion with 
His risen Lord, renewed his consecration in the flaming baptism 
of the Holy Ghost. *^He shall baptize you with the Holy 
Ghost, and with fire" (S. Matt. iii. 11). 

8. HisToaicAii AND Mysticai.. — ^In the Blessed Sacra- 
ment there is a union of the historical and mystical which will 
keep the mysteries of our holy religion forever fresh in the 
preacher's heart. For each step in the Atonement is not only 
a fact, a thing done once for all upon the stage of history ; it is 
also a process, a thing forever going on in the unseen world. 
The fact of history is the manifestation in time and space of 
an infinite eternal process. Christ is 'Hhe first-bom of all 
creation" (Col. i. 16). He is bom of the holy Virgin in order 
that we might be recreated in Him by the virgin birth of water 
and the Holy Spirit, ^^bom not of blood, nor of the will of 
the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of Grod" (S. John i. IS). 
He rises from the dead that we too may rise in Him ^'who is the 
beginning, the first-bom from the dead" (Col. i. 18). 


Now in the Holy Mysteries this timeless reality and efficacy 
of every Divine action, of the Incarnation, the Death upon the 
Cross, the Resurrection and Ascension, is preserved in the 
Divine Humanity into which our Lord incorporates us. The 
preacher wiU not only know Him as a living, present, loving 
Saviour; he will know the facts of His earthly life, not merely 
as a memory of deeds done once for aU in time, which are for- 
ever being carried farther and farther away from us upon 
the receding centuries, but as living dynamic mysteries which 
are operating and energizing in the world to-day, processes 
which are bearing fruit in his own heart, and which will awaken 
in the hearts of his hearers, if only he can strike the note which 
is in tune with the heart of God. If only the Blessed Sacra- 
ment is for him what It should be, '^the tabernacle of God 
with men,'' the shrine of every holy mystery, he will win from 
God a living and life-giving word which will revive the faint, 
and quicken the dead. 

4. The Pbopo»tion of the Faith. — Devotion to Christ 
in the Blessed Sacrament of His Body and Blood will help the 
preacher to preserve in his preaching that wonderful harmony 
between the individual and corporate life which is the singular 
triumph of Christian philosophy. For in the Blessed Sacra- 
ment we have harmonized these two truths, the priceless value 
of the individual soul, and the fact that it can only save its 
life by losing it in the life of the Fellowship. To each single 
soul it is said : ^^The Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ 
which was given for thee, preserve thy body and soul unto 
everlasting life;*' while this individual bestowal is only given 
to each in the Fellowship, as the Church, the Body of Christ, 
adores the world's Redeemer, the Lamb of God that taketh 
away the sins of the world. These two aspects of Christ, the 
loving shepherd of the one lost sheep, and the Redeemer of 
the world, must be kept in perfect harmony in our preaching. 
One of the perils of a preacher is a loss of proportion in 
his preaching, due sometimes to his own temperament, which 
exaggerates the enthusiasm of the moment at the cost of all 
other things, due sometimes to the influence of his audience 
upon him, and his desire to please them by ministering to their 
weakness. In this way, almost without noticing it, a preacher 
may evade the stem demands of intellectual effort in his prep- 
aration, because it is far easier to move his congregation by 


playing upon their emotions; and his preaching may deterio- 
rate into a mere glut of unwholesome sentimentality. Or, on 
the other hand, he may be so much absorbed in his intellectual 
pursuits that he becomes dehumanized, a cold calculating ma- 
chine without passion or emotion, and therefore without sym- 
pathy. In devotion to our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament of 
His Body and Blood a preacher will find every aspect of truth 
preserved in due proportion. There is in the sacramental 
principle a perfect synthesis of every aspect of truth and 
reality. The historical is preserved and interpreted by the 
mystical, the mystical is saved from evaporation by being 
0urely planted on the historical; the individual is saved from 
selfishness by incorporation into the fellowship, the fellowship 
is taught not to crush but eageriy to preserve and to care for 
the individual ; the emotions are kindled in a mystery of love, 
and disciplined by the steadying influence of a surrendered 
will in an act of obedience ; time and space glow with the splen- 
dors of the eternal and infinite; the material universe is not 
despised nor ignored, but uplifted on to the spiritual plane, 
interpenetrated by spirit, transfigured and made the veil of 
God's presence and the channel of His life, a burning bush, on 
fire, yet unconsumed; the spiritual universe is saved from the 
disastrous detachment from reality which inevitably occurs 
when matter and history are ignored, and metaphysics, jug- 
gling with abstract conceptions of their own creation, wander 
unrestrained in the barren deserts of merely intellectual specu- 
lation; the natural order is saved from the degradation to 
which science would reduce it, the degradation of mere mech- 
anism and necessity, by being interpenetrated by the super- 
natural, the mind and purpose of God; the supernatural is 
saved from degrading superstition by being firmly planted on 
the natural. In these, and in many other ways, a preacher 
may hope to find in the Blessed Sacrament that synthesis of 
truth, and balance of emphasis, which will help him in his 
preaching to keep the due proportion of the Faith. 

VIII. — ^DiLioENT Study 

We include this section under the heading of communion 
with God for two reasons. 

In the first place, it seems probably the chief futilities of 


the modem mind are due to the frequent neglect among schol- 
ar! of the lore and worship of God; and the mind of man, 
divorced from the fountain of truth and reality in the heart 
and mind of God, is in peril of feeding ui>on itself, and whirl- 
ing round and round with ever-increasing velocity in the nar- 
row circle of its own imagination; incapable of progress be- 
cause it has no conscious end, like Japanese mice, who, having 
lost one lobe of their brain, race round and round in a circle 
till they fall down in a fit. So we note that the boasted tri- 
umphs of science may reduce human society to the level of a 
pack of wolves, but wolves with human brains; because, as 
many of the most thoughtful scientists warn us, man's control 
of the forces of nature has far outstripped man's moral con- 
trol of himself; so, again, we note that the best educated nation 
is capable of most bestial conduct, far exceeding the brutality 
of savages, because it is lacking in spiritual vision and moral 
restraint. The intellect divorced from God is doomed to the 
disintegration of imbecility. 

But in the second place we include diligent study as a part 
of our conmiunion with God, because He is the source of all 
wisdom and all knowledge, and expects us to win inspiration 
and guidance for the future by studying His mov^nents and 
revelations in the past. However poor and inadequate our 
mental powers may be, God expects us to make the best use 
of them we can, for the brain is the only instrument we have 
with which to analyze experience, and to profit by the experi- 
ence of others. It is a talent which must not be buried in a 

It would, of course, be easy to say that a preacher needs all 
knowledge and all wisdom, aU science and all art, because the 
whole of a man's stored-up treasures are useful in the adorn- 
ment and enrichment of his sermon. But we will confine our- 
selves at this point to considering the spirit, and the most 
important subject of a preacher's study. 

1. Mentax Discipune. — ^It is a duty to be diligent in 
studying all such subjects as we are bound to teach, a duty 
which is often neglected by priests in the Church of England. 
Either from the national dislike of ideas and contempt for 
education, or from the effects of a public school and univer- 
sity training, the young priest will often offer to God every 
sacrifice except that involved in persevering mental effort, the 


patient wearing of our crown of thorns. The authorities of 
the Church give no encouragement to priests to continue their 
studies; and many other things claim their attention, and 
afford an excuse for neglecting this duty. And yet such 
neglect is fatal to a worthy di3charge of one's ministry. If the 
habit of regular and persevering study is abandoned in the 
first years of our ministry, it is very hard to recover it, and 
after the age of thirty-five many men who have neglected their 
reading find that the faculty for serious attention and hard 
intellectual effort has atrophied* One of the best and most 
efficient teachers I have known used to rise at 5:S0 a. li. so as 
to spend half an hour daily in the study of the Fathers before 
he went to church to celebrate the Holy Eucharist at 6:46. 
For the eleven years of his ministry he had never once omitted 
this duty, and I believe he fulfilled it faithfully to the day of 
his death. He said that the overwhelming duties of parochial 
life made it impossible to be sure of any other time in his 

Mental discipline also makes it necessary severely to restrict 
the area of study. Knowledge has increased with such amazing 
rapidity in every branch, and on every subject, that no human 
intellect can compass the whole ; and if a man studies without a 
definite and restricted scheme he will soon suffer from mental 
dissipation and lose all thoroughness in his work. Is not the age 
suffering from mental disintegration? There is no longer such a 
thing as science — only a vast number of sciences, each one of 
which has developed a library on each of its subdivisions, so that 
the specialist on one point seldom gets a vision of the whole. It 
is the same with history and theology. Will it not, then, be 
wise to select one or two subjects which you will try to master 
at firsthand, and then to try to get a general knowledge of 
the whole? — to know everything about something, and some- 
thing about everything. 

The preacher has to offer counsel, and to interpret God's 
will and form judgments on current events, both in private and 
public life. It is an important aspect of mental discipline so 
to develop his mind as to be a man of sound judgment whose 
word people will trust. This sound judgment can be cultivated 
by studying some subjects which demand effort because they do 
not naturally appeal to us. If we follow exclusively the line of 
our own inclination we may grow one-sided and narrow-minded. 


But if we have disciplined ourselves to study subjects which are 
distasteful to us, we are able to correct our prejudices and limi- 
tations, and to appreciate what may be true in the arguments 
of opponents or of persons who see things from another point 
of view. We shall see that this breadth of vision and this 
effort to sympathize with others is of supreme importance when 
we come to the psychology of persuasion. It is mentioned here 
only as a habit which enables us to approach more nearly to 
truth and reality. We should, then, make our main study on 
some subject which really interests us, so that we eagerly desire 
to master it. And we should supplement this with a shorter 
time devoted to a subject which the mind approaches reluc- 
tantly, so that the fiber of our mind is strengthened in mental 
quality by conquering our reluctance, and our mental outlook is 
enriched by the very thing which was needed to correct errors 
of our inclination, and to form the habit of a sound and bal- 
anced judgment. 

2- The Subjects of Study — (i.) The Bible. — Our ordi- 
nation vows impose on us the duty of giving to Bible study the 
first cUim on our time. There are many ways in which we 
may study the Scriptures. As we are making here no attempt 
at exhaustive treatment, but confining ourselves to the 
preacher's needs, it will be sufficient to mention these points. 
It is well to study each book in succession by itself in some 
good commentary, so that in the course of years we shall have 
an accurate knowledge of the history of each book, the atmos- 
phere in which it was written, the history of the times, the spe- 
cial contribution it makes to the knowledge of God. It is 
necessary to understand enough of Biblical criticism to be 
able to sift the small amount of assured results from the wild 
and impudent speculation in which many critics indulge. One 
who has lived long enough to see Hamack correct so many of 
his earlier opinions will receive the most confident assertions of 
critics with caution. 

Another and most useful method of Biblical study is to 
treat subjects longitudinally, tracing them from their earliest 
appearance through the whole length of the Bible. Such sub- 
jects might include the sense of sin, the need of redemption, 
the Messiah, the kingdom of God, the Holy Spirit, and the 

Yet another method is to study the Bible as a collection of 


the power of appreciating beauty, if a man devotes himself 
too exclusively to scientific study. 

A preacher has much need to train and educate the powers 
of ifnagination, for there in the heavenly places, where an idea 
forms into an image, is the home of the real. The imagina- 
tion can be trained and disciplined by a good method of 

If a preacher has taken pains to educate and train his 
memory, it will much enrich his ministry by enabling him to 
recall readily what he needs in the illustration of his subject, 
or the adornment of his work. The much-advertised methods 
which are said to give a man *^the memory of an elephant with 
the thought of a worm" are not really needed. Anyone can 
train his own memory by attention and repetition. The game 
of chess has helped many preachers by affording them the 
stem mental discipline they require for their work, the habits 
of concentration, analysis, synthesis, of constructiveness, and 
of the sympathetic entering into the mind and ideas of an oppo- 
nent, seeing life from his point of view ; it also admirably pic- 
tures to him the truth about life in its manifestation of a free* 
dom won from stern necessity, in its severity of judgment, 
which obliges a man to bear the consequences of carelessness 
and inattention to duty, and to work them out to the bitter 
end; in its demand for imagination and enterprise disciplined 
by the caution bred by personal responsibility. But it repre- 
sents the old dispensation rather than the new, for it leaves no 
room for mercy and forgiveness. It is the Law, not the Gospel. 
A knowledge of some foreign languages, especially of French, 
the language of modem eloquence, is most useful in improving 
style and strengthening one's vocabulary. 

Perhaps this outline of the remote preparation for preach- 
ing can best be concluded by placing the final and supreme em- 
phasis on the mystical union of the soul with God by love. 
Mystic union cannot be learned from books, for it is an indi- 
vidual experience which cannot be expressed in words; those 
who write about it can only point the way in which the experi- 
ence may be won, or in which obstacles to such an experience, 
such as sin, may be removed. 

But it is essential that everyone who would preach the 
living Word shall win that experience of union with Crod for 
himself in prayer, and penitence, and worship. What our Lord 


said to S. Peter, ^^Simon, son of John, lovest thou Me?" He 
»a,jB to everyone who would preach Him to others. Deep, 
abiding, living union with Christ, which enables a man to 
enter into His mind and know His will, to think His thoughts, 
alone wiU enable him to speak His words, and to do His deeds. 
^*I in them, and Thou in Me," is the secret of this interpene- 
tration. ^^Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot 
bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine ; so neither can 
ye, except ye abide in Me. I am the vine, ye are the branches : 
he that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same beareth much 
fruit, for apart from Me ye can do nothing" (S. John xv. 4). 
This union with God by love is the key to all philosophy) 
and to all science. ^^This is life eternal, that they should know 
Thee, the only true God, and Him whom Thou didst send, even 
Jesus Christ." Without this union with God by love, which is 
eternal life, all science and all philosophy would be worthless 
to a Christian preacher, and every gift of doquence be wasted. 
^^If I speak with the tcmgues of men and of angels, but have 
not love, I am become sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal. 
And if I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and 
all knowledge ; and if I have all faith, so as to remove moun- 
tains, and have not love, I am nothing." With this sublime 
utterance we may conclude, for no words could add to the 
sternness of the warning, nor to the strength of the encourage- 
ment which this passage brings to the preacher's heart. 


Extracts fkom *'0n MxnrrATioK," by Dr. Horton 

P. 174: '^If study is the contemplation of visible things, 
then meditation is the study of things unseen ; and while much 
of the Word of God can come to us in the facts which appeal 
to the senses when they are rightly interpreted by the Spirit, 
the Word of God in its fuUness does not come and cannot come 
through the senses — ^eye does not see, ear does not hear, the 
heart does not conceive.' Unless the man of God has got access 
within the veil, unless he is accustomed to handle things un- 
seen, unless his inward eye is occupied with the immediate 
revelation of God, he will never be able to show the way to 


^^Meditation is the steadfast setting of the mind on things 
unseen and eternal, on God and the soul, on the authority and 
dictates of the moral law, on life not as it is broken in the kalei- 
doscope of expression, but as it is apprehended in the white 
light of its idea. No one is likely to enter on the path of medi- 
tation, and to quiet his breast for the task of reception, unless 
he believes that there is an over-arching Being that waits to 
impress itself upon the prepared spirit, that there is a God 
who draws nigh to them that draw nigh to Him. As a rule men 
have not faith enough to meditate. They have just faith 
enough to study to acquire knowledge, to accumulate facts, 
and from a wide induction to make a venturesome guess at the 
origin or author of things. But it is a deeper and rarer faith 
to be well persuaded that the author of things is not far from 
the conscious mind, and watches for the ruffled waters to be 
still that he may mirror Himself in their bosom, and send the 
gleam of His glory along their shining surface. It is in this 
meditation that a believing soul may feel — 

A presence that disturbs him with the joj 
Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime 
Of something far more deeply interfused, 
Whose dwellLig is the light of setting suns. 
And the round ocean and the living air. 
And the blue sky, and in the mind of man ; 
A motion and a spirit that impels 
AU thinking things, aU objects of all thought. 
And rolls through all things. 

^^Prayer. — ^'Much reading and thinking,' said Berridge, 
'may make a popular preacher, but much secret 'prayer must 
make a powerful preacher.' " 

P. SOS : '^ 'Men would see Jesus, and they rightly appre- 
hend that the minister's true function is to show Him to them.' 
What is the secret which has enabled the Catholic Church 
hitherto to face all changes and to possess all continents, 
adapting itself as readily to your democracy as it did to the 
aristocracies of the old world? The readiest explanation would 
not be that which a Roman divine might give. The hierarchy, 
the sacraments, the fascinating ritual, might offer some ex- 
planation of the cheap and worthless victories over weak or 
indolent minds. But that which has secured her noble and 
eternal victories has been the continual maintenance from the 


first age to the present of the habit of meditation on the per- 
son of Christ. She has always had her mystics and her saints, 
men and women who turned aside from the crowded ways to 
contemplate in tearful wonder, or rapturous adoration, the 
Saviour crucified. She has never made the mistake which the 
vigorous and self-reliant spirit of Protestantism constantly 
makes: she never regarded mysticism as a term of reproach. 
. . . Unless Protestantism repents we shall find many souls 
turning back to the cloister and the cell, for the calm of con- 
templation and the quiet insight into realities which the loud 
roar of the mart and the defiling lust of gold are making diffi- 
cult in English-speaking communities. 

"Inconsistent Lives, — Some of the most eloquent and aj)- 
parently inspired preachers have been a reproach to the Gos- 
pel they have delivered. Declaring the necessity of unworld- 
liness they have themselves been ambitious, avaricious, and 
selfish. Preaching the duty of love, they have been suspicious, 
malignant, quarrelsome, and uncharitable. Expecting others 
to be humble, they have become notable examples of vanity, 
conceit, self-esteem, and pride.*' 




BsFORE entering on the discussion of schemes and methods 
of sermon construction which may be useful to joung priests 
at the commencement of this most diifficult part of their minis- 
try, it is necessary to state most emphatically that these 
schemes and methods are only suggested as a first aid to stu- 
dents, who, with little experience and generally with most in- 
adequate training, find themselves faced week after week with 
the duty of preaching to their flock. Anyone who has realized 
the awful responsibility of his office will naturally approach 
this task with fear and trembling. Many of us have suffered 
severely from the strain of having to preach two or three times 
a week when we have never been taught even the elements of 
sermon construction: and in cases in which the self-confident 
preacher does not suffer the suffering is often borne by the con- 
gregation. The schemes and methods to be described are 
merely given in the hope that £hey may encourage each man to 
work out for himself a method of his own. They are merely 
the technique of an art which is intensely personal. Each per- 
son differs from every other in religious experience, in mental 
equipment, in temperament, in habits of thought, in facility of 
utterance ; so that no one scheme or method can be the best for 
every man except that which he gradually evolves for himself. 
But it is possible to suggest certain fundamental principles 
which may form the background of any scheme, and the study 
of methods which others have found useful may stimulate 
thought and help each person to construct the method best 
suited to himself. But even when a man has found out the 
method of approaching his work which is best suited to his 



character and temperament, he must not allow himself to 
become the slave of his own scheme. Preaching should be the 
enthusiastic and joyful utterance of the living experience of 
communion with the living God ; and this will lose all its free- 
dom, spontaneity, and originality if a man allows methods or 
schemes to dominate him. 

It is with oratory as with every other art. It is bom in the 
world of wilb, the shrine of the ideal, the realm of the real, 
where God dwells in light unapproachable, and whence He 
issues forth in the heavenly vision of the good, the beautiful, 
and the true. But the musician whose soul is stung with an 
immortal thought, or the artist who catches a glimpse of things 
as they are in God's sight, or the prophet who bums with a 
living word from God, each has upon turn the divine necessity 
to communicate what he has seen, or heard, to others. This 
necessity for expression brings him into the world of the phe- 
nomena], where his art must make use of science ; for science is 
God's method in the phenomenal. So every art has its essential 
inspiration, and also its technique of expression, which latter 
can be to some extent taught and learnt. Art is the expres- 
sion of an experience ; science is the analysis of that experience. 
Art is the expression of creative personality; science is the 
study of the apparatus by which personality expresses itself. 

In some exceptional cases the union of a soul with God, 
his harmony with the rhythm of the universe, is so close that 
he can dispense for a time with the study of technique, as in the 
case of infant prodigies in music, mathematics, and chess. So 
some of the greatest preachers are completely inspirational, 
and all preachers at some time should experience that over- 
powering inspiration which is entirely independent of skillful 
technique, and sweeps away in a rush of the spirit all the care- 
fully prepared material of a sermon. But experience has 
shown that for an abiding ministry In any art a knowledge 
of its technique, if it is kept in its subordinate place, does help 
to purify and to discipline expression, and to correct faults of 
workmanship. So the musician studies the vocal chords or 
other musical instrument which is to enable him to express his 
message. And the painter studies the mechanism of his art, 
the composition of paints, the making of brushes and canvas, 
human anatomy, botany, composition and emphasis. So, too, 
the sacred orator, while he draws his inspiration from God, 


may find the best expression for his message if he had studied 
the technique of his art, provided always that such technique 
is kept in its place in entire subordination to prayer and com- 
munion with God. If the musician will not take pains to exer- 
cise his spirit, and relies only on the technique of his art, he 
may sink to the level of a barrel organ. If the preacher will 
not suffer the pains of creative art, will not purify and disci- 
pline himself by holding communion with Grod, but comes to 
rely on his own fluency, his memory, his skillful methods, his 
formal scheme, he too will sink to the level of a barrel organ, 
and grind out Sunday after Sunday a time which may be fault- 
less in the scientific accuracy of its mechanism, but which has 
no life, because it lacks the flame of love. 

It will be understood, then, that when rules, methods, and 
schemes are given in the following pages, they are not given 
as the universally best for all, but as summaries of experience 
of what one preacher has foimd useful, and sometimes as rep- 
resenting principles of fundamental importance; that these 
rules, schemes, and methods are merely the technique of the 
art which should be rejected by anyone whom they do not help ; 
and which, in so far as they are useful and true, should as 
soon as possible be relegated to the subconscious, so that, while 
they form the channels along which thoughts will run, they 
make no demand on the conscious mind. Rules for preaching 
should be like the rules for riding a bicycle. Most of us can 
recall our first attempt at riding a bicycle: the fearful, clumsy, 
and ineffectual attempts to mount; success, and a precarious 
perch between two wheels which wabbled in all directions at the 
same moment; the enthusiastic and perspiring friend who 
pushed behind, and pulled in front, and corrected deflections to 
the right or left with ubiquitous zeal, while all the time he was 
shouting out the rule, "Turn the wheel in the direction in 
which you are falling." How intensely annoying it was to 
be told this again and again in the midst of that tragedy of 
instability, when one felt oneself falling in all directions almost 
simultaneously, and when from every point of the compass 
motor cars were flashing toward you. But gradually under 
the patient repetition of the same words by one's friend, our 
brain began to discern the prevailing declination of our body 
from the line of rectitude at any particular moment, the hand 
began to turn the wheel automatically in that direction, the 


correction of the declination began to be expected as a matter 
of course, the terrors of the ditch diminished, the multitude of 
racing motor cars resolved itself into one not going very fast; 
our self-confidence was growing as we felt more able to deal 
with the situation; our self-respect was restored, as a panic- 
stricken and disintegrated personality regained its unity, and 
established a harmony with its instrument of locomotion ; until 
at last balance was won by instinct; rules were no longer a 
painful process of intellectualization, passing in succession 
through the brain, and absorbing all our attention; the rule 
was as true and as operative as ever, but now it had become 
an instinctive habit; it no longer demanded the attention of 
the mind, and the obedience of the will; it was relegated to 
the subconscious, as, long before, balance in upright walking 
bad been; we had won ^Hhe freedom of the wheeP'; and now 
our whole conscious life was liberated to attend to things which 
really mattered, the object of our journey, the beauty of the 
landscape, the song of the birds, the smile of the flowers, the 
conversation of our companions on the journey. 

So with the rules, methods, and schemes for sermon con- 
struction given in the following pages. As soon as possible, by 
practice, they should be relegated to the subconscious, so that 
the preacher's soul may be liberated from attention to mechan- 
ism to attend to the things which really matter, to enjoy the 
sunshine of God's presence, to gaze out over the sunlit land- 
scape to the far horizon of eternity. 

We will consider sermon construction under the following 


I. — ^RsALiZE Your AtrniENCs 

In the immediate preparation for preaching you should free 
yourself from the idea that you are going to make ^ ^^great 
pulpit effort,** as it is called. Otherwise you may subordi- 
nate your duty to your vanity and preach yourself instead of 
Christ. Notlung so easily betrays us into a style which is 
pompous, or bombastic, as this illusion of greatness. A ser- 
mon which is bom of this idea may be brilliantly clever, but 
will not be spiritually effective. For normal sermons we should 


say to ourselyes : '^Grod ha« some word of rebuke, or encourage- 
ment, or instruction, or consolation, for His people. He will 
give it to me to make it incarnate if I seek it from Him. I 
must seek it with a pure intention for His glory, and the com- 
ing of His kingdom, and the salvation of souls. I must trust 
Him to use me for these ends, and not yield to undue anxiety." 
The first duty in preaching, after one's devotions and union 
with God, is to realize your audience. Ask yourself — 

1. Who Will bb Present at this Service? — ^Many 
preachers preach to the absent; still more, to themselves. They 
are deeply interested in some subject of study, and inflict it 
without scruple on their congregation. In the beginning of 
your ministry, before you are familiar with the lives of your 
people, it is advisable to make a list of persons who may be 
present at the service at which you are to preach. Such a 
list might run: The men and boys of the choir; the church- 
wardens, and one or two sidesmen; a doctor; some ladies of 
leisure; one or two domestic servants, though this class is 
rapidly becoming extinct ; some shopkeepers ; some clerks ; and 
in exceptional cases, a working man. Of course, this list will 
vary with the nature of a parish, city, suburban, country, or 
working class. The next question is — 

2. What Is Their Manner of Life? — ^I found it useiFul 
while I was inexperienced and new to my parish, and had not 
yet entered into the life of the people, to write down a typical 
day's life of several persons — shopkeepers or clerks — ^thus: 
Time of rising; the duties which occupy their time; their 
recreation ; their family life ; what they read ; the i>er8ons whom 
they meet. What is their aim in life, their ideals, their tempta- 
tions, hopes and fears? What does Christ mean to them? 
What doe9 religion mean to them? What ideas, if any, do 
certain words convey to them — ^.gr., the Church, Incarnation, 
Atonement? What instincts can be used? Then we should ask — 

S. What are Their Needs? — ^Don't be deceived by ap- 
pearances. Englishmen conceal their deepest feelings most 
jealously. They may all look alike on Sunday in their best 
clothes. But faithful and persistent visiting, and hearing con- 
fessions, will gradually teach you that beneath the formal 
outward appearance many a sad tragedy, and many noble 
dramas of heroism, are bing wrought out. You can visualize 
this in concentric circles. 


1. The individual discouraged, disappointed, disillusioned, 
bereaved — carrying* on a noble struggle with temptation, or 
happy and successful. 

k. In the home. — ^A happy family, or one which finds it 
difficult to live together; an abiding or a temporary disagree- 
ment, or a growing alienation. 

8. In business. — ^Ups and downs — ^prosperity or adver- 
sity; the gnawing of a perpetual anxiety as to how to make 
both ends meet; the joy of promotion or success; the tempta- 
tion to acquiesce in shady transactions, and to lower the stand- 
ard of truth and honor. 

This will be enough to indicate some of the means of real- 
izing one's audiences, which is the first duty in preparing to 
preach. It may save one from choosing a subject or speaking 
a language which will not help those who hear, as in the case 
of a learned professor who is reported to have addressed a 
small meeting of Cambridge bedmakers (the ladies who clean 
the rooms of undergraduates) in the following terms: ^T. grant 
you that, before the marvelous revelation of modarn science 
and the most recent development in philosophy, the ontological 
argument for the existence of God has somewhat weakened in 

We may say, then, that the first duty of the immediate 
preparation for preaching is, by prayer and meditation, to 
enter into union with the heart and mind of God ; and the sec- 
ond duty is, by careftilly realizing one's audience, to enter 
into sympathetic union with the persons who will listen to your 

n. — ^The Choice op a Subject 

1. Rules. — (1) Kneel down; realize the presence of God; 
confess your sins ; thank God for entrusting this work to you. 
Pray that His name may be hallowed. His kingdom come. His 
will be done; pray to be delivered from self-will, and to be 
guided by the Holy Spirit to choose your subject aright. 

(ft) Consider what subject will be most spiritually useful 
to those to whom you will speak. Visualize the congregation, 

(S) Remember that you will speak to those who are pres- 
ent, not to those who are absent. Flaming denunciations of 
those who neglect to worship God are sometimes delivered in 
church, which obviously it would be better to deliver at the 


street comer. The chances of a ricochet from those present 
to those absent are not f^reat. 

(4) The subject should be religious — Le., with direct refer- 
ence to God. Your primary duty is to teach a supernatural 
religion. Mild essays on ethics, citizenship, war, character, 
how to get on in life, etc., are justified only if God and His 
love and will are the mainspring of the whole and the dominant 

(6) Consider your own capacity. Some subjects are too 
difficult to be dealt with profitably by a young priest with little 
experience. I have heard an exceedingly youthful-looking un- 
dergraduate on Blackpool sands instructing a crowd of Lanca- 
shire matrons, many of them the ^^mothers of nine," on how 
to bring up a family. His sermon was good, but unsuitable. 

(6) Consider the time at your disposal. Some subjects 
can-be dealt with in sections. Others should not be touched at 
all unless they can be treated fully as a whole. One may expect 
a shorter time in the morning than in the evening. 

(7) Consider the people's needs and capacities. We must 
not take counsel only with our own inclination, choosing those 
subjects which give us the least trouble in preparation, or 
afford the best opportunity for display, or those which happen 
to interest us at the time. We must consider what the people 
need most to help them to be what God would have them be. 
Some subjects are unsuited to the capacity of those who 
hear. In my first curacy I delivered a most eloquent course 
of sermons on the existence of God to a congregation of old 
ladies who had never for a moment doubted it. We must learn 
to treat subjects on different levels of argumentation. 

(8) After considering the needs of the people, of two sub- 
jects equally suited to their needs, choose that which interests 
you most, so that you can speak on it with enthusiasm. 

(9) The subject on many Sundays is fixed by the Church's 
year. In every parish a three years' course should be pre- 
pared, which will insure that every regular attendant at the 
service shall in that time be fully instructed in all that a Chris- 
tian ought to know and do. But the course must not be rig- 
idly followed without variations, for local or national events 
demand attention. 

(10) Keep a supplementary list. Every priest has to face 
some occasion when, through sickness, or emergency calls, or 


sloth, or procrastination, or a fit of accedie, he finds himself 
utterly at a loss as to a subject on which to preach. He sits 
at his desk on Saturday morning, his mind a blank, his brain 
exhausted, his nerves ajar. The hours slip by, and no thought 
comes, no message is given in answer to his fervent prayers. He 
suffers all the subtle and acute agonies of ^^stage fright"; 
and the tired brain and weary heart only become more irre- 
sponsive the more one tries to flog them into activity. I have 
found at such times a supplementary list of subjects which 
ought to be dealt with at same time, and may be dealt with 
at any time, and upon which one's notes have been steadily 
accumulating, will come as a most welcome aid to a tired 
brain. Life in paradise; purgatory; heaven; historical 
subjects; vocation; the call to a state in life; occasions of 
sin; God's will of permission, and will of design; the duty 
of witness; courtship; marriage; the home; the way of life; 
and such subjects as find no definite place in the Church's year. 
Many subjects will be suggested by our visiting; and the usual 
excuses one meets with may go on such a list. ^^I don't set up 
to be better than my neighbor" — "Be ye perfect as your Father 
in heaven is perfect." Stagnation — ^^^What was good Plough 
for my father is good enough for me." 

8. CouEBEs OF Instevctiok. — ^It is impossible to sketch 
an ideal course of instruction in the abstract, for no course is 
ideal which is not constructed with a view to the needs of the 
particular parish and capacities of the person who is to give 
the instruction. But a list of subjects is given, which may 
stimulate thought and suggest some neglected truths. Of 
course, many subjects here mentioned would need to be split 
into several addresses. 

SuBJxcn worn. Ivmucnoir 

(A) B§9$laiian 

1. God. 11* The Messiah. 

8. The Holy Trinity. 12. The Incarnation. 

B. The attributes of God. 18. The Life of our Lord. 

4. The Creation. 14. The Death of oar Lord. 

5. God immanent and transcendent. 15. The Resurrection. 

6. The Fall of man. 16. The Ascension. 

7. Comparative rell^oo. 17. The Process of Atonement 

8. God's election of Abraham. 18. The Sacrifice of Christ 

0. The Jewish religion. 19. The Descent of the Holy Spirit 

10. Tb» kingdom of God. 80. The Mission of the Holy Spirit 



(B) The CathoUe Chwreh 

1. Jewish Chnrcfa expanded into 

Catholic Church. 

2. The election of Faith. 

8. Nature of tiie Catholic Church. 

4. A Spirit-bearing brotherhood. 

5. The four marks of the CathoUc 


6. The Acts of the Apostles. 

7. Scenes from the PrimitiTe 

Church life. 

8. The Church life— institutional, 

ethical, and mystical 

9. Holy Orders of Bishops, Priests, 

and Deacons. 

10. Persecnticm and martyrs. 

11. Lives of the Doctors of £ast and 


12. Hermits and monks. 
la CouncU of Nic«a. 

14. Conversion of the Empire. 
10. Schism of East and West. 

16. The Friars. 

17. The Reformation. 

18. The Continuity of the English 


19. The missions of the Church in 

every land. 

20. Reunion. 

(C) Tk0 TeacMi^ of th$ Church 

1. The need and history of creeds. 

2. The nature and need of dogmi^ 
8. The Articles of the Creed. 

i. The Catechism of God and the 

6. The Sacramental principle. 

6. Holy Baptism. 

7. Confirmation. 

8. The Holy Eucharist as the 

Christian sacrifice. 

9. Holy Communion. 

10. The duty of C<Hnmunion. 

11. Sin, its nature and essence. 

12. Mortal and venial sins. 
18. Judgment, particular and gen- 

14. HelL 

15. Repentance. 

16. Conversion and confession. 

17. Amendment of life. 

18. Occasions of Sin. 

19. Other Sacraments — 

H<Hy Unction. 
Holy Matrimony. 
Holy Orders. 

20. Vocation to a state of life. 

(D) OhrisHtm Bthie9 

1. The end of man. 

2. Means to that end. 

8. Obstacles to that end. 

4. The wiU. 

6. The conscience. 

6. The passions. 

7. Faith. 

8. Hope. 

9. Love. 

10. Prudence. ^ 

11. Justice. 

12. Fortitude. 
18. Temperance. 
14. Covetousness. 
16. Lust 

16. Social ethics. 

17. aticenship. 

18. Truth and honesty. 

19. Zeal and tepidity. 

20. Courtship and marriage. 

Now, when we glance over the list of subjects we see at once 
that a large number of them suggest a whole course of sub- 
divisions and amplifications, and the choice of subjects becomes 
immense. Herein lies a great peril. The opportunities of 
teaching the general congregation are few. If too wide a plan 


is mapped out there may be a failure to teach the essentials 
effectually. For English people need to hear a truth often 
repeated before they get it firmly planted in the mind. So in 
choosing a subject it is wise to turn away from the vast range 
of Christian truth and to begin with the individual soul who will 
listen to you. 

3. Th£ Way of Life. — Here is a soul. It has to go to 
work on Monday. What does it need to know? It needs to 
know, first of all, the way of life. Jesus is. the Way, the Truth, 
and the Life. Does every soul know Him as a living, loving, 
present, personal friend and Saviour, the unseen companion 
of his life, who shares his home, dwells in his heart, and goes 
with him to his work, reads his thoughts, hears his words, sees 
his deeds, takes an intense personal interest in him, is disap- 
pointed when he fails, and is wounded when he sins? This is 
the first point in the way of life. 

Does he know how to get grace from God in prayer and 
sacrament, to strengthen his weakness? How to live in the 
recollection of God's Presence? What temptations await him? 
What are the occasions of sin which he must face? (An occa- 
sion of sin is ^^any person, place, or thing which may lead me 
away from God.") How to witness for God and how to work 
for the coming of God's kingdom? What to do if he falls into 
sin? How to repent, and how to make his confession, and to 
amend his life? 

Does he know that he belongs to a brotherhood, the Fel- 
lowship of the Holy Catholic Church, and that he must obey 
her discipline, and keep the commandments of the Church? 
How to observe fasts and festivals? How to prepare himself 
worthily to receive Holy Communion? How to read God's 
Word, and how to observe the Lord's Day in worship, recrea- 
tion, and rest? Has he realized his duty of almsgiving, and of 
paying for his religion? Does he realize his duty to witness 
for God by an upright holy life, and how to win other souls 
for Christ? Is he enthusiastic for the supreme end or purpose 
of his life, the coming of God's reign over the hearts of men? 
Is he keen in the support of the Church's mission work at home 
and abroad? 

Tliis method of selecting one's subject by the duty of 
arming every soul for the battle of life will insure a real work- 
ing value for the Faith. 


4. Th£ Nbed of Instruction. — ^Again, in choosing a 
subject it is well to consider in what the congregation most 
lacks instruction. In England in the past generation is it not 
true to say that we have tried to teach too much, so that a 
vague religiousness, an atmospheric piety, an amorphous senti- 
ment, has taken the place of a definite faith? And since this 
vague unformulated ethicism has no root in history or dogma, 
it does not stand the strain of life, and evaporates just when it 
is most needed. Two truths have been frequently neglected : the 
social aspect of Christianity, and the sacramental principle. A 
personal pietism, and an individual salvation, has been substi^ 
tuted for the Gospd of Fellowship and the coming of 6od*s 
kingdom, and the sacraments are looked upon as the reward for 
saints, rather than as a help for sinners. 

Perhaps I can best end this section on the choice of a 
subject, and emphasize the need of an earnest desire to seek 
God's guidance and to do His will, by placing on record some 
startling courses which are taken from real life. 

Lsxmxr Coums 

(A) Everyday Things (B) Ths DM/ne Bequest (C) The Ooepel 

1. Spectacles. 1. My 1. God 

2. Photographs. 2. Son 2. So 

8. Telegrams. B. Give 9. Loved 

4. Books. 4. Me 4. The 

6. Railwajs. 5. Thine 6. World. 

6. Clocks. 6. Heart 

We may admire the simplicity of this method without being 
convinced of the wisdom of the choice. Another course was 
entitled ^^The Three Axes," and I have known an evangelical 
clergyman preach two courses on "The Six Come-downs" and 
"The Seven Come-ups." 

It is a relief to turn away from such nauseating silliness to 
the solemn words of the great Bishop Dupanloup. 

"To resume: Jesus Christ wishes His ministers to teach 
His people religion, and the whole of religion ; in consequence. 
He wishes them in every parish, in every pulpit, small or great, 
to preach: The whole of revealed truth; all the precepts of 
Christian morality; all the evangelical virtues of the Gospel; 
all the means of salvation ; prayer, sacraments, and Eucharist. 

"Such is without doubt the will of our Lord. But if it be 
so, gentlemen, what, I ask you, shall we one day answer? What 
in the hour of judpnent, when Jesus Christ, putting before our 



eyes all our preaching for ten, twenty, or thirty years in a 
parish, will show us that there are many points in religion, and 
those of the last importance, of which we have never spoken, or 
which we have at most only touched upon in passing, without 
ever treating them as one must treat in order to teach them, 
and so lightly and vaguely that our hearers have not even 
been able to notice them? Ah! let us judge ourselves, gentle- 
men, that we be not judged ; let us set all our addresses, all our 
sermons, in the light of the docentes omnia of our Lord, and 
let us seriously examine them from this point of view, the only 
true one, that of the Gospel, which will be that of the judg- 
ment; let us see what we have to reform in our preaching, in 
the choice of subjects, in their intelligent distribution, and in 
a solid and clear way of treating them, so really to fulfill the 
orders of the Divine Master in teaching the people" ("The 
Ministry of Preaching," p. 62). 


When the subject has been carefully chosen, the next step, 
if we are working by a scheme, is to accumulate our material. 
Of course, the process of doing this will vary according to one's 
subject. All we can do here is to suggest general points for 
accumulating material when the subject centers round a 
passage of Scripture. 

RuiiES POE AccuMUi>^TiNO Mateeial. — 1. Do not trust to 
what you already know; study the subject afresh. "All that 
presents itself at first when we begin to examine our subject is 
generally feeble, commonplace, insignificant; it is when we 
study it thoroughly, which is nothing else than to descend into 
the heart of the mine, that we discover the vein of thoughts 
which are beautiful and full of force. Without the profound 
study of the material there will be nothing solid, nothing strong, 
no warmth, little accuracy, little of interest, little fruit." 

2. Earnest study of the subject will gradually help you 
to see the ideas contained in it, the best way of selecting that 
aspect of the subject which will be most useful, the right 
order in which it should be treated, the due gradation, the 
proper divisions, the links of transition by which we pass 
from one part, to another without mental shock, and the unity 
of the whole. 

8. Method of study. Read the sections of the best writers 
on the subject available with a pencil in your hand, and jot 


down in briefest summary, often in one keyword, any thouffht 
which may strike you as likely to be useful. If the thoughts 
are not noted as you read, other thoughts will overlay them 
and crowd them out of your operative mind. 

4. If any thought in your author suggests a chain of 
thought in your own mind, follow this out as far as it leads 
you. Your object in reading is the stimulation of your own 
mentality. The author you are reading was addressing an 
audience different from that which will listen to you. So while 
he may suggest some aspect of the truth to you, it is for you to 
present that truth to your hearers in a way in which they can 
appreciate it. 

6. If the subject centers round some passage in Scripture, 
read the passage, if you are able, in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, 
as each of these may suggest some thought which may not be 
apparent in the English translation. The use of Cruden's Con- 
cordance, of an analytical concordance such as Young's, or the 
excellent "Schmidii Concordantia" abridged by W. Greenfield 
(Bagster and Sons, Paternoster Row), will help. The passage 
may also be read in **The Harmony of the Four Gospels** 
(S. P. C. K.), in Drummelow's "One Volume Bible," with much 
caution in Peake's **Commentary on the Bible," and in Wey- 
mouth's "New Testament in Modem Speech" ; Hastings' many 
dictionaries should be consulted. A short summary of the sub- 
ject can be found in the "Subject Index" given in the Oxford 
or Cambridge Companions to the Bible. 

6. If the subject is, or involves, history, it is important to 
know enough of the epoch, and of the manners and customs of 
the people at that time, to catch something of the atmosphere 
in which the incident occurred. It is easy to be deceived by 
words, and to read into other periods or other climates the 
meaning attached to the word here and now — e.g.,, there is little 
in common between the **King" we read of in certain parts of 
the Old Testament, who was often merely the chief of a small 
nomad tribe, and whose army consisted of a few hundred men, 
and King George V, ruling over a quarter of the globe. Again, 
the sun and water have a very different significance in tropical 
countries from what they have for us in England, who see so 
little of the former, and so much of the latter. 

Other methods of accumulating material will be dealt with 
in later sections. 


IV, — ^Mepitate on the Subject 

When the subject has been chosen, and the material has 
been accumulated bj diligent study, the next point is to medi- 
tate on the subject. It should scarcely be necessary to say 
that in following such a scheme as this, processes are isolated 
and given in succession, for the sake of clearness, which are 
really interpenetrating and concurrent. 

When we first approach our subject we find that we have 
some knowledge of and some ideas on it. The first may be 
increased by study, the second by reflection. While we study 
we ought not merely to read, we ought to pause frequently to 
reflect on what we read. And when our material has been 
assembled in many forms, We must concentrate our mind on 
careful meditation on the subject. 

1. The Use of Schemes. — ^Now, the difficulty of many 
a young preacher whose imagination has not been trained, who 
has little store of experience of life upon which to draw, who 
is unaccustomed to the composition of essays, and inexperi- 
enced in the construction of sermons, is very often how to get 
started. He does not know where to begin. The vague desire 
to speak on his subject refuses to formulate itself, or to pre- 
cipitate itself on to paper. He has seen, approved, and noted 
other people's thoughts ; but they are merely separate items in 
his brain without any unity. He has not yet appropriated 
them, made them his own. 

The question is how to stimulate his thought ; and for this 
purpose, and this purpose alone, I wish to suggest the use of 
what I shall call ^'schemes," by which I mean a method of apply- 
ing the mind to a subject so as to get possession of it. In the 
history of rhetoric and oratory it has gone by many names. 
It is sometimes called ^^dialectic," the art of understanding and 
the art of expression, to know the kind and species of each 
thing. How to explain and how to define ; how to distribute the 
parts ; how to discern the true from the false ; how to see the 
consequences, to foresee the contradictions, and to remove 

Others call these methods ^^commonplaces," or ^Hopics.*' 
The topics may be defined as, ^^Certain leading considerations 
which can be applied to any subject for the purpose of study- 
ing it in itself, and in aU its relations to other things, so as to 


acquire a clear and full knowled^ of the matter under con- 
sideration/' But these classical methods so often involve one 
in the terms of some philosophic system which are no longer 
used, and tend to excessive rigidity of thought; so it seems 
desirable to abandon the old terminology, and to give a few- 
outlines of schemes in the hope that each student will make 
out his ovm. 

(A) A Logical Scheme may run as follows: 

1. Definition. 

S. Enumeration of parts. 

5. Genus and Species. 
4. Causes — 

(a) Efficient. 
(6) Formal 

(c) Material. 

(d) Final. 

6. Effects. 

6. Comparisons. 

7. Differences. 

8. Contraries. 

For example, if you desire to speak of prayer your first 
approach to the subject may be as follows: 

1. Definition Formal, — ^An elevation of the soul to God. 

%. Definition Oratorical. — ^It is to raise oneself toward the 
throne of the great King, to be admitted to an audience with 
the sovereign Master, to treat with Him of the most grave 
interests one could possibly have, etc. 

8. Genus. — ^The excellent virtue of religion. 

4. Species. — Vocal and mental prayer. 

5. TTie Cause Efficient. — ^The Holy Spirit who prays in 
us with groanings unutterable. 

The Cause Final. — ^Why pray? To render to God His due, 
to tell Him our wants. 

TJie Cause Formal. — ^How to pray. The requisite conditions. 

Tlie Cause Material. — ^What ought one to say to God? 
Prayers, supplications, intercessions, and thanksgivings. 

6. The Effect of Prayer. — ^Increase of grace and glory, 
strength and consolation. 

7. The Contrary. — ^To forget Grod. This is the source of 
all evil, as the other is the source of all good. 


(B) A Scheme for Recommending a Virtue. — ^If your sub- 
ject is to recommend a virtue, say humility, if you have accus- 
tomed yourself to use a scheme, you will at once think of this 
virtue under some such headings as these: 

1. To show its excellence, utility, and happiness. 

ft. To help persons to esteem, to love, and to desire it. 

8. To persuade them to adopt the means to acquire it. 

4. To exalt its excellence by describing the contrary. 

In the case of humility this may be expanded thus : 

1. Your Aim or Object. — ^To instruct, to please, to per- 
suade persons to strive to cultivate this virtue. 

2. Definition Formal. — Humility is to see ourselves as 
Grod sees us, as we really are. 

8. Definition Oratorical. — ^When we consider the majesty 
of God and the insignificance of man, when we realize that 
there is nothing in us which we have not received from Him, 

4. Enumeration of Parts. — ^There are four degrees of 

(1) Not to esteem oneself. 

(2) Not to desire the esteem of others inordinately. 
(8) To receive with patience every humiliation. 

(4) To rejoice at and to desire humiliations as the means 
to acquiring this virtue. 

6. Its Excellence. — God dwells with those who are of a 
humble and contrite heart. Our Lord reveals humility as the 
virtue we are to learn from Him. "Learn of Me, for I am meek 
and lowly in heart." 

All men love the humble-minded. 

6. Its Utility, — ^If you are really humble you receive many 
graces from God, such as patience and peace, which He cannot 
bestow on the proud because they are incapable of receiving 
them, and you are saved the torments which the proud suiFer. 
Humble-minded persons promote among others the peace they 
enjoy in themselves. 

7. Its Contrary. — ^Pride, which oifends God, and exposes 
the soul to ceaseless wounds. 

8. How to Acquire It. — ^Love the means, as well as the 
end. Humility can only be learned by the patient and joyful 
acceptance of humiliation. 

9. Obstacles or Hindrances to acquiring this virtue: 


(1) An inordinate love of self. 

(2) An inordinate love of the good opinion of others. 
(8) An inordinate ambition. 

N£. — ^This expansion has been merely jotted down as it 
occurs to the mind on the first approach to the subject. It is 
not in its best order, nor is it adorned or illustrated. The pur- 
pose of a scheme is merely to open out many avenues of 
thought. Arrangement, order, illustration, and oirichment 
will be treated in later sections. The whole purpose of a 
scheme is to give a bird's-eye view of a subject with its most 
obvious extensions. 

(C) A Scheme for Hiftarical SubjecU. — ^If your subject 
is to center round some incident in our Lord's earthly life, or 
some other ev«it in history, you may approach it by the 
admirable method recommended by S. Ignatius Loyola in his 
'^Spiritual Exercises," which we may adapt thus : 

1. Exercise the Imagination. — ^Reconstruct the scene as 
well as you are able to do. Imagine that you are yourself 
present at it. 

S. Picture the Circumstances — t.^., the things that stand 
around — ^the landscape, the roads, the fields, the houses, the 

8. Apply the Senses. — ^Feel the heat, the jostling of the 
crowd, the smell. See all the persons, paying special atten- 
tion to the principal persons. See their clothes, their attitude. 
Hear the buzz of conversation, the words of the persons to 
whom you are particularly attending. Consider the actions of 
all present. 

4. "Applff Interrogation.^* — ^Ask yourself such questions 
as. Who? Where? When? How? What? Why? Whence? 
For Whom? These questions enable your mind to penetrate 
into the inner significance of the scene, and to possess it, or to 
become possessed by it. Each or any of these questions may 
stimulate a whole series of thoughts or emotions which should 
be noted as they occur.* 

Meditation on the subject has for Its aim, first of all, to 
possess the subject mentally and spiritually, to see it as Grod 
sees it, to become familiar with it in all its aspects ; and, sec- 
ondly, by diligent prayer to become possessed by the subject, 
so that it becomes a living word of God, burning up into 
^ Other schemes are given on p. 178. 


a strong convictioii which will often beccnne a real passion for 
deliverance, a longing to give utterance to the thought, whicK 
has become in us a word of God. 

This form of meditation must be carefully distinguished 
from the personal meditation we make for our own soul's wel- 
fare. In the latter we meditate for our own soul's welfare, to 
correct and strengthen ourselves without any homiletical inten- 
tion. In meditating on the subject we see how it will correct 
and strengthen others. We may quote here Quintilian.^ 

^^Next to writing is meditation. Meditation may in a very 
few hours embrace all points of the most important causes. . . . 
Nor does it only arrange within its circle the order of things, 
but it forms an array of words and connects together the whole 
texture of a speech with such effect that nothing is wanting, 
but to write it down. ... A certain form of thinking must 
be acquired by great practice in writing, a foon which may be 
continually attendant on our meditations ; a habit of thinking 
must then be gradually gained by embracing in our minds a few 
particulars at first, in such a way that they may be faithfully 
repeated; next, by addition so moderate that our task may 
scarcely feel itself increased, our power of conception must 
be enlarged and sustained by plenty of exercise ; power which 
to a great degree depends on memory." 

V. — ^Weite Down Youe Object 

I have pointed out that these sections are not necessarily 
successive, but are often concurrent and interpenetrating. We 
may think it best to write down our object before beginning 
our meditation on the subject. If so, it may be necessary to 
amend this after study, which may have brought new points of 
view to light, or revealed to us some new method of treatment. 

But it is of supreme importance to fix your object in writ- 
ing before you attempt to sketch the first outline. For this 
object is that which must dominate and give unity to the whole 

Many sermons are nothing less than a tragedy of aimless- 

» "Quintllian Institutes of Oratory, or the Edacatlon of an Orator." 
Of Thought and Premeditation, Book X., chap, vi, sect. 1. (Marcus 
Fabiero Quintilian was bom aj). 40, at Calahorra#in Spain. Among his 
pupils was Pliny the younger. As a teacher of eloquence, and a pleader, 
he received £800 per annum. He pleaded before Queen Bemice.) 


ness. The preacher has no definite purpose in speaking at all, 
except just somehow to fulfill a distasteful duty for which he 
has neglected to prepare himself. So he gets up into the pulpit, 
and if sufficiently fluent he dribbles forth disconnected remarks 
about things in general, meanders round this or that subject, 
and comes down from the pulpit, leaving the congregation as 
vague as himself on the subject of his sermon. ^^What did the 
preacher preach about?" asked one who had been absent from 
the Sunday sermon. "Oh, about forty minutes, I think," was 
the answer. 

Pire L. Bellefroid, in his "Manual IVEloquence Sacrfe," 

'^A discourse is not a succession of considerations, much 
less a collection of beautiful thoughts and eloquent phrases on 
a given subject, but a chain of reasonings all tending to estab- 
lish one only coid the same thing, to persuade persons of an 
important truth. It does not suffice in a discourse to speak of 
one proposition, but to treat it with a perfect ensemble, a per- 
fect combination of means, a perfect unity, so as to win for 
all the same persuasion. One sees, then, how important it is 
when the subject has been chosen to determine the particular 
point of view from which the subject shall be treated. This 
point of view should not be too vast, nor too restricted" (p. 

"One should not be surprised," says a French writer, "if 
there are few preachers who convert souls, because there are 
few who aim at this, and many would be immensely astonished 
if they were shown someone who had been converted by their 
sermon ; the salvation of the hearers was a thing of which they 
had never thought. They were so occupied by their subject 
that they forgot their audience. Their attention was so ab- 
sorbed in the need of imagining and adorning their discourse, 
that they entirely lost sight of the purpose and end of all dis- 
courses, which is to instruct the hearers, and to persuade them 
to fulfiU their duties." 

Your object may 

1. To manifest this aspect of Gtod. 

2. To teach this dogma or truth. 
8. To awaken this spiritual desire. 
4. To exalt this virtue. 


5. To excite contempt or loathing for this sin. 

6. To persuade to the performance of this duty. 

When you have clearly defined an object which is worthy 
of God and useful or needful to man, write it dovm. It is your 
aim, the test of all the means, the guide of every expansion, 
the judge of every illustration, the governing principle of every 
adornment. Write it at the head of every page on which you 
sketch an outline : apply it strictly to every development. Then 
you may hope to escape the peril of aimlessness. 

Dr. iWhately says: ^^Many a wandering discourse one 
hears in which the preacher aims at nothing, and hits it." 

VI. — Decids ths Divisioks 

This duty may come better after selecting your means. 
But that must be decided in each case by the nature of the 
sermon. The question is. How can the subject be best pre- 
sented to the people in such a way as to instruct, to please, and 
to move them? The art of rightly dividing the subject is 
chiefly concerned with clearness of instruction, upon which 
everything depends. 

Rules fou Divisions. — 1. Avoid a fixed scheme. Elo- 
quence needs the utmost freedom. Enthusiasm bums in the 
soul. The spirit of an orator ought to resent every effort to 
confine it in any fixed scheme or formal effort. 

2. When the freedom of the spirit to approach the subject 
in its own. way has been secured, then it will divide each sub- 
ject according to its nature. There will be no attempt to force 
an artificial symmetry of the Ciceronian threefold division, each 
with its three subdivisions. 

8. Clear and natural divisions help the preacher to remem- 
ber his discourse, if he is preaching without manuscript. They 
help the hearers by enabling them to remember the course of 
the argument, and to follow easily the speaker's line of thought. 

4. The divisions ought to cover the whole ground of the 
subject proposed. 

5. Divisions ought not to overlap one another. They 
should be as clear-cut as possible. 

6. They should be simple and natural. They ought to 
grow naturally out of one another in due progression or gra- 
dation if the subject is to be treated harmoniously. This will 


not apply to treatment by opposites, or reaction, or concen- 
tration, which will be explained in later chapters. 

(i.) Division by a Text — All SainW Day, — ^'^Rejoice and 
be exceeding glad, for behold, great is your reward in heaven." 

Point 1: The recompense of the saints is sure. '^Behold 
your reward," in contrast to the recompenses of the world, 
which are uncertain and doubtful. 

Point £: The recompense of the saints is abundant, 
^^great," compared to the recompense of the world, which is 
empty and imperfect. 

Point S: The recompense of the saints is eternal and ^'in 
heaven," compared to the recompense of the world, which is 
mortal and perishing. 

Text: Rom. xii. 1, ft may be divided in different ways. 

First Subject: The Nature of Sacrifice. 

Point 1: What is a sacrifice? Definition: to make sacred. 

Point ^: Why does God bid us sacrifice our bodies? 

Point 3: How can we sacrifice our bodies? 

Or Second Subject: God demands Entire Consecration. 

Point 1 : To sacrifice means to consecrate. 

Point 2: God hallows our bodies as well as our souls. 

Povnt S: The mind must be transformed by renewal. 

Or Third Subject: The Evolution of a Person. 

Point 1 : Formation — ^interaction of body and soul. 

Point £: Conformation — to the world. 

Point S: Transformation — ^by the interpenetration of God. 

(ii.) Divisions by Reference to God, our Neighbor, and 
Ourselves — Christmas. — Glory to God in the highest and on 
earth peace. 

1. Peace with God. 

S. Peace with our neighbor. 

S. Peace with ourselves. 

(iii.) Divisions by the Divine Perfection. — ^In the mystery 
of the Passion is shown : 

1. The power. 

S. The wisdom of God (Bourdaloue). 

1. The power. 

2. The mercy of God (Bossuet). 


We may treat in two ways the Divine perfections. The 
first is to establish or explain this perfection in the first point, 
which then would be purely dogmatic, and to develop it in the 
second, which would then be altogether moral, the fruits of 
virtue which we ought to cultivate. 

(A) Point 1 : God is everywhere present. 

Point H: What duties does this universal presence of God 
impose on us ? 

(B) Point 1: There is a Providence which watches over 
each of us. 

Point S: What are our duties toward this Providence? 
The second way is to insert the fruits, affections, and prac- 
tices in the very announcement of the perfections of God. 

(C) Point 1 : The presence of God everywhere is a power- 
ful motive for avoiding all sin. 

Point S: The recollection of this presence helps us to arrive 
quickly at perfection. 

(D) Bourdcdoue — Point 1: Grod has over us an essential 
dominion, which we ought to recognize by a sincere oblation of 

Point S: God has over us a universtd dominion, which we 
ought to recognize by entire oblation of ourselves. 

Point S: God has over us an eternal dominion, which we 
ought to recognize by a prompt oblation of ourselves. 

(E) Point 1 : This has God done for you in this mystery. 
Point £: This is what we ought to do for Him. 

(F) Point 1: Jesus in the cradle is for us a benefactor 
who ought to be loved. 

Point £: Jesus, a teacher to whom we must attend. 
Point S: Jesus, a model to be imitated, 
(iv.) Divisions by Body and Sotd, — Christian penitence is 
a double sacrifice which God requires of us : 

1. The sacrifice of the body. 
S. The sacrifice of the spirit. 

(v.) Divisions by the Past^ the Present^ and the Future. — 
The unhappy fate of the reprobate. 

1. In the past torn by cruel regrets. 

ft. In the present crushed by deadly sorrow. 

8. In the future desolated by dreadful despair. 


(vi.) Diviiions hy Succeaion^ where one division leads to 
the next, as a link in a chain, or suggests the next by reversal, 

Subject: "Now is the judgment of this world." 

Point 1 : Jesus Christ judged by the world. 

Poifiit i: The world judged by Jesus Christ. 
Subject: On the Passion. 

Point 1: Sin kills Jesus Christ. 

Point i: Jesus Christ kills sin. 
Subject : Sin. 

Point 1 : Mortal Sin is an EvU to God — 

1. It is an audacious revolt against God. 
C. It is a deliberate contempt for God. 
S. It is a black ingratitute toward God. 

Point 2: Mortal Sin is an EvU to Man — 

1. It is a tormentor. 

2. It is a robber. 

8. It is an assassin. 

Point S: Venial Sin — 

1. Its nature. 

2. Its effect. 

8. Its punishment. 

Subject: The Use of Suffering — Proposition: Let us re- 
joice in our tribulations, knowing that — 

Point 1 : Tribulation worketh patience. 
Point i: Patience worketh probation. 
Poffi^ S: Probation worketh hope. 
Point 4: Hope putteth not to shame. 

Because the love of God hath been shed abroad in our 
hearts through the Holy Ghost which was given unto us. 

(vii.) Division hy Conc^trationy when each point begins 
at the circumference and works inward to a common center. 
This method is well illustrated by the model sermon on "Plen- 
teous Redemption," of which an outline sketch is given. In the 
divisions of this sermon division by natural succession, and by 
concentration, are combined. The method of concentration can 


be Tisualized by seeing the subject as a wheel, and following 
each spoke dovm from the circumference to the center. 

VII. — Make a Rouoh Sketch 

When the audience has been realized, the subject chosen, 
the material accumulated, the subject studied, the object writ- 
ten down, and the divisions provisionally fixed, it is well to 
make a first rough sketch under the barest headings. Do not 
write a word imtil this has been done. The object of this is to 
secure perfect unity in the discourse. The unity of a discourse 
is the first supreme mark of a good sermon. The orator's task 
is to instruct, to please, and to persuade. His sermon must be 
interesting, beautiful, and moving. Now, both beauty and 
utility demand unity. No one knows the secret of beauty. But 
we do know that there is a rhythm in the universe, a rhythm 
which, to the mystic, seems like the heart-beat of the life of 
God. These things which are in harmony with this rhythm are 
beautiful; whether we recognize it in grace of movement, in 
harmony of color, in melody of music, in the lines of architec- 
ture, or in the utterance of orators, it is the same character- 
istic. Things become beautiful when they are in harmony 
with the rhythm of the universe, the heart-beat of God. And 
for the resolution of discords by uplifting them into a har- 
mony which transcends their conflict the principle of unity 
is essential. 

The preacher is not called to make certain disjointed 
remarks about God, like the tuning up of an orchestra* 
He is caUed upon to give birth to a Word of God, an 
oratorio. And the birth-pangs of deliverance are the pains of 
attaining a unity in his discourse. This unity consists of 
two things. 

1. UNrrT OP View. — ^He must see the subject as a whole. 
Everything in it must tend to x>ne common end, to establish 
some one precise and clearly defined proposition. '^It is at- 
tained when there is not a p^ir^se in the sermon which is not 
expressed except with this object, and which is not either nec- 
essary or useful in conducting our audience to it ; when, in fine, 
from this common end, as from a central point, we can take 
in the whole sermon, with all its ramifications, at a glance of 
the eye. Unity of view imparts this remarkable property to a 


discourse, that it reduces it to one leading proposition, which 
is merely brought out into greater relief by the various ways 
in which it may be presented to an audience; or, rather, as 
F^nelon expresses it, the discourse is merely the development 
of the proposition, and the proposition is nothing more than 
an abridgment of the discourse." 

%• Unity of Means, when all its parts are so united, con- 
nected, and arranged, that the preacher advances continually 
on the same line of progressive conceptions, when it is one 
tissue of ideas and sentiments, which beget and follow one an- 
other. In this way everything is in its proper place ; each truth 
prepares the way for, introduces, £^ sustains some other 
truth which has equal need of its support; and thus they all 
imite to conduct the audience to the common end in such a 
manner, and with such an intimate and close connection, that no 
one of the leading ideas can be omitted without destroying the 
order of the march, no one misplaced without weakening the 
force, and deranging the harmony, of the whole discourse*' 
(Potter, "Sacred Eloquence,'' p. 88). 

From the notes of an organ a mere player will strum out 
disconnected chords ; but a musician will unite and weave the 
same notes together into a harmony which expresses the living 
idea that bums in his soul. 

From the same font of type one compositor will arrange 
the letters to express some discord of hatred; but an inspired 
preacher will combine them to awaken a vision of the Grod of 
love, or the love of God, which will inflame the hearts of all 
who read — ^.^., 1 Cor. xiii. or 1 S. John iv. 7. 

From the same pile of stone cme builder will construct a 
jerry-built villa which has no spiritual message; while an in- 
spired architect will weave them up into a village church or 
great cathedral, which is prayer and aspiration petrified in 
stone, and shelters the worship which it helps to inspire, 
and which gave it birth. One secret dominates every art. 
It is the principle of unity which expresses the Divine Per- 

This principle of unity should guide the preacher in making 
his first outline sketch of the main points of his sermon. It 
may ultimately have to be corrected, readjusted, or abandoned 
if it will not harmonize. But in some form it will become the 
framework which will secure unity. 


VIII. — ^Pebpaeb ths Links 

From this point onward I must give the sketch of the sug- 
gested plan of construction in briefest outline, as so much 
will be treated in chapters dealing with ^^Instruction/' ^^The 
Psychology of Persuasion," ^^Enrichments" and ^'The Use of 
Words." It is only necessary in this sketch to emphasize the 
guiding principles which one hopes will be sufficiently illus- 
trated in the outlines, summaries, or sections of sermons ap- 
pended to the various chapters. The reason why we should 
take great care in passing from one division of our subject to 
another, and prepare the phrases of transition, is to save a 
mental shock. We have taken much pains to secure the atten- 
tion of our audience. We are hoping to instruct, to please, 
and to move or persuade. The preacher must try to hold their 
attention without a break as he passes from one division 
to the next. A bad link or plurase of transition gives 
a severe jolt to the mind which may quite distract the atten- 
tion. A good link carries on the attention without jar or dis- 
tress, as in a well-laid railway line the train passes smoothly 
over the points from one pair of lines to the next. Consider 
this bad link: ^^Oh! then tiiere is another thing I want to say 
to you." It is a blow in the face of attention, a jolt to the 
mind; it cuts a connection; the attention must be won again. 
Compare this with Massillon's transition in a sermon said to 
be on Charity (by which, in this case, is meant almsgiving — a 
very different thing). 

Dioisiani — Point 1: Charity is a duty. 

Point 2: Charity is a pleasure. 

IfinJIr. — ^^^If charity toward the people is the first duty of 
the great, is it not also the chief luxury of their greatness?" 

In the examples which follow we must reserve judgment as 
to the wisdom of announcing our divisions in the introduction. 
It was almost the rule with the great French preachers. But 
we are neither great nor French; it is a delicate point which 
must depend on the nature of the sermon and the character 
of the audience. 

IX. — ^Divisions, Points, and Links 

MASSHiiiON. — Sermon (vol. ii. ^^Ancient and Modem Li- 
brary of Theological Literature"). 


1. Subjeet.--On the Delay of Conversion. 
Tea^t. — S. Jcba i. 28: ^^I am the voice of one crying in the 
wilderness, Make straij^t the way of the Lord." 

Diaisioni. — ^We delay our conversion on two pretexts : 

(1) That God has not yet given us grace enough to begin 
our new life. 

(2) That we are at present too much entangled by the 
passions to think of beginning a new life. 

After the development of the first point. 

Link* — ^^^Such are the pretexts which the sinner who delays 
his conversion draws from the part of God. Let us now exam- 
ine those which he takes from within himself." 

ft. On Fake Truii. 

Text.—S. Luke xxiv. 21: '*We trusted it had been He 
who should have redeemed Israel.'' 

DMiiom. — ^This, my brethren, is what induces me to 
occupy your time upon so important a matter, persuaded that 
a false trust is the source of condemnation to almost all sin- 
ners ; that those who are afraid of perishing never perish ; and 
that I could not better fulfill my ministry than by establishing 
in your hearts those salutary feelings of mistrust which lead to 
precautions and remedies, and which, in disturbing the peace 
of sin, leaves in its place the peace of Jesus Christ which sur- 
passeth all feeling. Thus, in order to give a proper extension 
to so useful a subject, I reduce it to two propositions : 

(1) There is no disposition more foolish than that of a 
sinner who presumes without laboring toward his amend- 

(2) There is none more injurious to God. 

The folly of a false trust. 
The insult of a false trust. 

Link. — ^But what idea, will someone say to me, do you give 
us of the God we worship? An idea worthy of Him, my 
brethem ; and in my second part I shall prove to you that false 
trust is injurious to Him, and forms to itself the idea of a 
God who is neither true, wise, just, nor even merciful. 

8. For ChrUimoi Day. 

Text. — S. Luke ii. 10. 

Dvcieions. — Now what are the inestimable blessings which 
this link brings to menP The heavenly spirits come them- 


selves to make it known to the shepherds; it comes to render 
glory to God and peace to men, and behold ! the whole founda- 
tion of this grand mystery laid open — 

(1) To God that glory of winch men had wished to deprive 

(ft) To men that peace of which they have never ceased 
struggling to deprive themselves. 

Link. — ^But not only does the birth of Jesus Christ restore 
to God that glory of which men had wished to deprive Him; 
it likewise restores to men that peace of which they have never 
ceased to deprive themselves. 

BouKDALOUE (168S-1704). — ^Delivered before Louis XIV. 
and his Court. Translation in *^6reat French Preachers" by 
C. H. Brooke. 

Teopt. — S. Luke ii. 10, 11 : **Pear not . . . great joy.'* 

Dwiiiom. — 1. A mystery of fear. S. A mystery of joy. 

Now I maintain — and here you have the plan of my dis- 
course — ^I maintain that the mystery of the birth of Jesus 
Christ, thoroughly understood and devoutly meditated upon, 
is of slU the mysteries the one best calculated to arouse within 
us both that wholesome fear, but also that secret but solid joy. 
I submit that the sight of Jesus Christ bom in a manger fur- 
nishes us with potent reasons both for the one and the other. 

For fear if you be of the number of the worldly-minded 
who, blinded by the prince of this world, have forsaken the 
way of Salvation for the way of Society. 

For joy if, having your eyes open, you are longing to be- 
come oirolled this very day among the number of those faith- 
ful Christians who are seeking God in spirit and in truth. 

Fear if, fully aware why Jesus Christ came into the worid, 
and likewise how He came, you mark the contrast and contra- 
diction which exists between Him and yourself. 

Joy if, being once convinced of and confounded by the 
antagonism existing between Jesus Christ and yourself, you 
at length resolve to conform yourselves to His pattern, and to 
take advantage of the opportunities for so doing afforded you, 
ev^i by the very condition of life into which it was Gt>d's 
good pleasure for you to be bom. 

Fear, then, or rejoice, according to the side you have 
taken, and the character which most fitly describes you. 

Are you on the world^s side? Fear! For this mystery will 


home to you truths of fearful import, as will be seen in 
the first part of this discourse. 

Are you already numbered, or are you to be numbered, 
among those who are Christians indeed? Rejoice! For the 
mystery is a revelation of grace and mercy infinite, as shall 
appear in the second part. 

Exhortation at the End of Part I. — ^At the risk of disturb- 
ing the joy of the Church, which is a sacred joy, I am bound to 
upset yours, which, from the blindness of your outlook, is a 
joy as presumptuous as it is mistaken. To you I must cry, 
'^Tremble !" Why? Because unto you is bom a Saviour, but a 
Saviour who seems to come into this world on the sole errand of 
confounding and condemning you, a Saviour who is contrary to 
all your inclinations, a Saviour who is the enemy of the world 
and of all its good things, a Saviour who was poor, lowly, and 
afflicted. Troublesome truths ! But for whom? For you, men 
of the world — ^for you, that is, whose riches are in this present 
world, who are absorbed in your abundance, and intoxicated 
with your good fortune ; for you, men of ambition, pufFed out 
with a hollow grandeur and lovers of worldly display; for you, 
the sensualists and voluptuaries of this world, who worship sdf, 
and whose preoccupation is pleasure. 

Link. — ^And yet, now that we have dwelt upon this mystery 
of fear, this mystery of woe, which I discern at first sight in 
the birth of the Grod-made Man, O fellow Christians, let us turn 
at last to the mystery of consolation therein enshrined, and see 
what portion I can find for you ! It will form the second part. 

The above extracts are given somewhat fuHy to illustrate, 
not only the formal announcement of divisions, but also the 
principle of rhythm, of strain, and relaxation. 


Text. — S. John xi. 84 : **LoTd, come and see." 
Dtoisiom. — So that we need but to consider what it is that 
Death takes from us, and what it is he leaves untouched; what 
part of us falls beneath his stroke, and what other part re- 
mains intact among the ruins. Then we shall have under- 
stood what man is ; insomuch that I do not hesitate to assert 
that it is in the lap of death, and from out its dense shadow, 
that there shines an immortal light to enlighten our reason as 
to the constitution of our common nature. 

Quick, then, O mortals! Off with you to the grave of 


Lasarus, and then behold humanity! Come and /see at one 
glance the end of all your schemeS) and the dawn of all your 
hopes. Come and see both the dissolution of our being, and 
its renovation. Come and see life's triumph through death's 
victory. Come and see. 

We give thee thanks^ O death, for the li^^t with which thou 
dost lighten the gloom of our ignorance. Thou alone canst 
convince xm of our low estate. Thou alone canst make us 
know our worth. If man esteem himsdf too highly, it is for 
thee to take down his pride. If man esteem himself too lowly, 
it is for thee to put fresh heart into him. 

In order to adjust the balance between these extreme opin* 
ions of his, thou wilt teach him these two truths, and open his 
eyes withal, and give him a thorough knowledge of himself : ( 1 ) 
That he is infinitely despicable, because he is a thing of waste 
and wane; (S) , that he is of infinite worth, smce his going 
forth shall be for everlasting. 

X. — ^Weits thb Conclusion 

I fear to call it the ^^peroration," lest this may convey a 
too exalted and artificial impression of our task. One of the 
chief perils a preacher has to gnard against is the peril of pos- 
ing to himself as a great preacher, and allowing his natural 
simplicity to be overcome by the desire to end with a flourish 
of trumpets. 

RuLX9 FOX THX Conclusion. — 1. Remember that a weak, 
draggle-tailed ending often ruins an otherwise useful sermon. 
Waters which rushed out from a fountain in the introduction, 
and passed through lovely and awe-inspiring scenery in their 
course, must not be allowed to dribble away in their end. That 
which began as a spark, and flamed up into a flre which illumi- 
nated some Divine truth and kindled hearts with a fervent glow 
of love, must not be allowed to flzzle out like a damp rocket. 

ft. The peroration, carefully prepared, will enable you to 
leave oiF preaching when you ought to do so. It is sometimes 
pathetic to hear a preacher meandering on, simply because he 
does not know how to leave off. He reaUy wants to stop* His 
hearers want him to stop. The subject requires that he shall 
stop at once. The good he has done will he dissipated unless 


he jitops now. The harm he has done will increase in geo- 
metrical progression if he will not stop* But he meanders on, 
vaguely repeating thoughts already announced: *^As I said 
before/' or chasing little unimportant thoughts down obscure 
byways into the jungle, or disastrously remembering some 
rather good passages in former sermons, until the whole force 
of the present sermon has been hopelessly dissipated. If he 
enters the pulpit with the conclusion carefully prepared, he 
can leave off when he likes, when the people wish him to do so, 
when he feels that he has lost their attention or is in danger of 
losing it, or if he feels that his sermon has missed fire, or thinks 
that he has delivered the Word so effectually that any further 
speech will only weaken it. The prepared conclusion will en- 
able him to leave off strongly, instead of dribbling away into 
inanity or fizzling out in nervous imbecilities. 

S. The character of the peroration will be infinitely varied, 
as his style must be, because it will dep^id on the nature of 
the subject, the character of his audience, and his own capaci- 
ties. Audiences differ in race, in temperament, in education, 
in unity, and in habits of mind. A Celtic audience, as in Corn- 
wall or Wales, love a flaming peroration, and need a cold 
appeal to the will. A cold, rational Yorkshire audience need 
a flame of intense passion and conviction to kindle their habit- 
ual caution into enthusiasm. One kind of conclusi<m is suited 
to a sermon which aims primarily at getting a truth accepted; 
another when the aim is to get something done. The con- 
clusion which is suitable to a homogeneous audience, as in a 
mining or factory town, would need to be modified in a village 
in which many different elements worship together. A con- 
clusion which would be beautiful and convincing to an illiterate 
audience might seem an outrage to a suburban congregation, 
which prides itself on respectability and has some elements of 
culture. The preacher's own capacity will also control the 
style of the conclusion. Not every curate can end on the 
trumpet note of flaming passion of a Lacordaire preaching in 
Notre-Dame without leaving a note of unreality behind. 

4. If the sermon has aimed mainly at instruction, the con- 
clusion may rightly take the form of a recapitulation of the 
truth taught and tiie reasons given. But it should never be a 
merely verbal repetition. There should always be some new 
thought of beauty or of force, or some new illustration. Re- 


member that the conclusion is the part of the sermon which 
people are most likely to recall to memory. 

6. The recapitulation need not be a repetition, but only a 
reminder — t.g.^ ^^I have tried to show what the Church teaches, 
what the Bible proves, what life's experience verifies. Let us 
see that we give expression to this truth in our daily life 
by,*' etc. 

6. Some subjects are so majestic in themselves that they 
demand a note of exaltation on which to end. It would not 
do to end a sermon on the majestic self-abandonment of God 
in the Incarnation by a weak remark that we shall find it pays 
in the long run if we yield ourselves to Him. The subject 
demands an appeal to entire self-surrender in general self-sac- 
rifice, regardless of consequences. 

7. Conclusions on a note of ecstasy or an apostrophe to 
God should never be prepared. They are only permissible 
when they are spontaneous and genuine, the authentic cry of 
a passionate heart, and not the skilful device of a subtle head. 
Prepared emotion tends to be theatrical and insincere. 

8. The conclusion of sermons which aim at stimulating 
action demands great concentration of force, blow after blow, 
falling on the same point. And since love moves the will, 
the conclusion will seek to inflame passion. The nature of the 
audience will decide whether passion is most likely to be in- 
flamed by its expression or suppression in the speaker. Some 
audiences are obtuse, and the full manifestation of passion in 
the speaker is necessary to kindle a like passion in those who 
hear. Other audiences are intelligent, and are more moved 
by the thrill of a passion, restrained and therefore more intense 
in the few molten words of burning conviction which force their 
way to utterance. In either case, as always in speaking, 
emotion and passion must be genuine and sincere. But this 
subject will be more fiilly dealt with when we treat of the art 
of persuasion. 

9. The conclusion should, as a rule, form the climax of 
a sermon; and great care is necessary to prevent anything like 
an anti-climax. 

^'It is in these concluding and decisive moments that we 
are to bring the full weight of our zeal, of our love, of our 
ardent desire for the advancement of their best interests, to 
bear upon the hearts of our hearers. It is in these moments 


that we are to rush down upon them with all the highest effort 
of our talent concentrated on one grand assault; that we are 
to press the reluctant but already wavering will from every 
side; that we are to leave that will, and the irregular passions 
by which it is sustained, no loophole of escape ; that thus urged, 
influenced, and moved by every power which one man can bring 
to bear upon another, we may wring from our hearers full and 
unconditional surrender to the force of those arguments which 
we have laid before them and those conclusions which we have 
rigorously deduced; that thus we may draw from the penitent's 
eye those saving tears which are to wash even his deadliest sins 
away; that thus we may awaken those generous resolutions 
and obtain those triumphs of grace which are the trophies, 
and the only ones, for which the true soldier of Christ so 
ardently sighs'' (Potter's ''Sacred Eloquence," p. 806). 

XI. — Choose a Text 

CoMsmsBATioKs. — 1. It depends on the subject of the ser- 
mon whether the text should be chosen early or late in the con* 
structaon. This also determines the kind of text you should 

8. If the subject of the sermon is a comment on Scripture, 
the text should, if possible, contain the lesson which you seek 
to teach and as much of the argument as is possible — e.g.^ on 
the Resurrection ; CoL iiL 1 : ''If ye then were raised together 
with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is 
seated on the right hand of Grod. Set your affections on things 
that are above, not on things that are upon the earth. For 
ye died, and your life is hid with Christ in Grod." This text 
contains the subject (the implications of the "'Resurrection"), 
the object ("seek," "set"), the dirisions, the argumoit, and 
the unity of view. 

8. A text reminds the preacher that he is speaking in God's 
name, and that his discourse should be based upon and tested 
by Scripture. It reminds the hearers that the sermon will 
be an effort to speak a word from God. 

4. But if the sennon i% on a subject which is not based 
on a passage of Scripture, then it is often best to choose the 
text when the subject has been fully developed — after, and 
not before, the composition of the sermon. For when yon 


preach on Scripture the sermon is meant to expand and illus- 
trate the text ; when you preach on other subjects the text is 
meant to summarize and fix the subject in the mind of the 
hearers. If in the latter case you begin with a text, you may 
hamper and spoil the development of the subject in its due 

6. If you are preaching on a text, take care to study the 
context so as to give it the real meaning of the author. If 
you are seeking to give a mystical interpretation to the words 
of the text, see to it that you do not yield to an improper spir- 
itualization. A right mystical interpretation preserves the 
unity of truth. It is a legitimate transvaluation of an idea 
from the historical plane to the mystical — ^legitimate because 
all truth is one, however varied may be its manifestation. As 
an example of illegitimate spiritualization, one may mention a 
text given in a popular book of meditations for a meditation 
on the Ascension of our Lord, which turned on the Queen of 
Sheba and Solomon and his ^'ascent by which he went up into 
tile house of the Lord; there was no more spirit in her'' 
(£ Chron. ix. 4). This use of God's Word seems to be purely 
silly, and suggests a slavery to words which may kill the spirit 
— in fact, there is ^no more spirit" in the text than in the 
Queen of Sheba. I have heard an amaring sermon, whose ob- 
ject was to exhort persons to attend Benediction, preached 
from the text, ^'I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw 
all men unto Myself (S. John xii. 9S). It is difficult 
to imagine a more gross distortion of our Lord's meaning. 

6. Avoid texts which introduce other subjects, which may 
distract attention from the matter in hand — e.g.^ if you are 
preaching on death alone, don't choose Heb. ix. S7, because 
this would introduce another subject — the judgment. 

7. Avoid freak texts, which may be smart, but are un- 
worthy of those who speak in God's name. At one time in 
America the use of freak texts was common; and Broadus 
records a sermon preached, when ladies used to pile up their 
hair in a knotted pinnacle, on the text *Hop not come down." 
It is a little difficult to identify the text by supplying *1et 
hm that is on the house . . . " ; and more difficult to believe 
that this is a right use of Scripture. Thirty years ago an 
excellent sermon was preached to the English Church Union 
on ^apes and peacocks" (1 Kings x. SS), deprecating the mim- 


icry of foreign ceremonial, and warning agwut the dirty heart 
which might underlie the most ornamental ceremonial, as pea- 
cocks are said to be so satisfied with the splendor of tiieir 
attire that they neglect personal cleanliness. But while there 
is a real place for humor in the preaching of God's Word, that 
place is not in the text. 

When Galileo fought his noble battle in the cause of the 
truth he had learned by contemplating the stars, a Dominican 
opponent preached against him from the text, ^^Ye men of 
Galileo, why stand ye gazing up into heaven?'' This was 
tempting, but as false as were probably the arguments which 
followed it, 

8. As we shall see on considering the nature of words, 
some words have a peculiar moral or spiritual force, partly as 
keywords which unlock a chain of associations in tiie mind, 
partly as touching and releasing emotions of fear or love 
or desire, partly as haunting the memory with a ringing 
refrain, or as embodying the truths in a single word or phrase 
— ^words of challenge: **How long halt ye between two opin- 
ions?" or trumpet notes such as ^'Prepare to meet thy 

9. Every preacher should construct his own textbook. 
A priest in the ordinary course of his daily Eucharist and 
OiBce reads through practically all the Bible once, and several 
parts more than once. If you keep a part of your preacher's 
notebook for texts which strike you in your daily Bible read- 
ing, and carefully cross-reference them under their most 
obvious application, you will soon have a useful help in choos- 
ing texts; and just glancing at the texts on any subject will 
often suggest a line of thought when you are stale, and the 
brain needs stimulating into activity. 

Xn. — ^Weite the Inteoduction 

CoNsn>£BATiONs. — ^What is the exordium? It is an intro^ 
duction to a discourse which aims at disposing the audience to 
give the speaker a favorable and sympathetic hearing. It has 
for its object, according to Cicero, to render our hearers benev- 
olent, attentive, and docile, or ready to learn. 

The exordium may be of two kbds — ^the calm or the pas- 
sionate. The first may be classified as simple, solemn, or in- 


•muatuig ; and the second, called the exordium ab abrupto^ 
may be a challenge, or a stimulating question* 

The Simple Introduction needs no illustration, as its char- 
acteristics will be described. It is the usual form for 
parochial preaching. 

The Solemn Ewordiym may be illustrated by Demosthenes' 
beautiful introduction to his sublime oration on the Crown: 
*^I begin, men of Athens, by praying to every god and god- 
dess that the same goodwill which I have ever cherished to- 
ward the commonwealth and all of you may be requited to 
me in the present trial I pray likewise — ^and this espedaUy 
concerns yourselves, your reUgion, and your honor — ^that the 
gods may put it in your minds not to take counsel of my 
opponent touching the manner in which I am to be heard — 
that would indeed be cruel — but of the laws and of your oath, 
wherein (beside the other obligations) it is prescribed that you 
shall hear both sides alike. This means not only that you must 
pass no pre-condemnation, not only that you must extend 
your goodwill equally to both, but also that you must allow 
the parties to adopt such order and course of defense as they 
severally choose and prefer.*' He then describes the advan- 
tages of his opponent and his own disadvantages. **I shall 
be forced to speak frequently of myself. I will endeavor, then, 
to do so with all becoming modesty." . . . ^*It is painful and 
grievous to be deprived of anything, especially by the act of 
one's enemy; but your goodwill and affection are the heaviest 
loss precisely as tiiey are the greatest prize to gain." This 
will be sufficient to illustrate the rules which will be presently 

The Iminuating Exordium may be illustrated by S. Paul's 
introduction in pleading before Agrippa (Acts xxvi. ft) : *^I 
think myself happy, King Agrippa, that I am to make my 
defence before thee this day touching all the things whereof 
I am accused by the Jews: especially because thou art expert 
in all the customs and questions which are among the Jews; 
wherefore I beseech thee to hear me patiently." Another 
example is the introduction of Tertullus before Felix (Acts 
xxiv. «). 

Again, the exordium of Bishop Dupanloup in his sermon 
at the Madeleine (February 4, 1868) on behalf of the poor 
churches in his diocese may be quoted as illustrating the 


insinaating introduction: *^I love to plead the cause of poor 
churches and country villages in this place and in your presence* 
It is not very often that I am called upon to raise my Toice 
outside the limits of the diocese to which my life is deroted, 
but this object in one in which I am deeply interested. It is 
besides, I acknowledge, the cause of my own diocese also, and 
on this account I could not well refuse my feeble aid. Among 
so many other works there is none which, to my eyes, is more 
important. The highest motives of faith and diarity here 
find expression. The splendor, peiSiaps the rather worldly 
splendor, of this church, this magnificent assembly, all the 
pomp and state which surrounds you, do not discourage me. 
My eyes, now long unaccustomed to so brilliant an audience^ 
are still able to discover, in the midst of all this luxury and 
splendor, noble souls and Christian hearts to whom my words 
are addressed" (^'Life of Bishop Dupanloup," vd. ii«, p. 6S). 

The PoiHonaU Introduction, — ^This exordium ab ^rupto 
may be illustrated by the challenge of Cicero in his fibrst oration 
against Catiline: *^How long, O Catiline, wilt thou abuse our 
patience? How l<mg wilt thou baflle justice in thy mad career? 
To what extreme wilt thou carry thine audacity?'' 

An unfortunate introduction and a swift and skillful recov- 
ery will be noted in Acts xxiii. 1-7, and a suitable one in Acts 
xxii. 1-6. But beside the abrupt challenge an introduction ab 
abrupto may be used to stimulate thought and concentrate at* 
tention, as in an excellent sermon on the Resurrection which 
it was my privilege to hear lately: *^If when you go to your 
office to-morrow morning someone were to ask you why you 
believed that our Lord had risen from the dead, what would 
you say?" This at once conciliates the audience by taking 
them into consultation, introduces the subject, concentrates 
the attention, stimulates thought, and saves time, iHiich is an 
important consideration. It may be called the ^^introduction 

Rules Foa thb Intboduction — 1. Varied, — ^The introduc- 
tion should be varied according to the character of the ser^ 
mon. It is unwise to repeat the same form on every occasion. 
The exordium may be omitted in a short instruction. 

S. Win Goodwill. — ^The first purpose of the exordium is 
to win the goodwill of the audience, to make them kindly dis- 
posed, attentive, and ready to learn. 


8. Caurte$jf. — Courtesy wins goodwill. It should adoni 
an the discourse, but is especially desirable in the introduction. 
Oood taste, sincerity, reverence for the truth, and respect for 
those who will listen to you, will save courtesy from degen- 
erating into flattery or a cringing address. Tact is most desir- 
able. But I have heard a sermon of which the exordium so 
bristled with tact and a desire to conciliate that the suspicions 
of the hearers stood up like quills upon a fretful porcupine, 
and we began to wonder on what point exactly the preacher 
wished to deceive us! 

4. Modeiiy. — ^Modesty is necessary here and throughout 
the discourse. Few things alienate the more thoughtful man- 
bers of a congregation so effectually as the cocksureness of 
the half-informed. A simple single-hearted sincerity, and a 
humility which really wonders that anyone would care to listen 
to us, especially if they have heard us before, a sincere lore 
of souls, the supernatural love which loves them because they 
are dear to Grod, will insure the right approach. This mod- 
esty should not be assumed as a rhetorical garment for this 
occasion only, but should be the manifestation of a humility 
deep rooted in the preacher's soul. 

6. Make the Best of an Audience.-^A word of encourage- 
ment is often permissible. Englishmen often conceal beneath 
an outward appearance of indifFerence a profound diffidence 
or distrust of themselves. Our Lord wins men by always think- 
ing the best of them; and the introduction to many of S. 
Paul's Epistles manifests the same affection, and desire to make 
the best of his converts, which secures a friendly hearing. But 
before using any expression of affection, be sure that you feel 
it sincerely, and have a right to express it based on intercession 
for those to whom you speak, or on some other form of service. 

6. Simpliciiff. — ^The audience is not yet moved, and a 
quiet, simple statement of the subject, quite free from exalted 
declamation or oratorical flourishes, is best. 

7. T%^ Subjecf,^^ln purely instructional addresses it may 
be wise to announce the object and the dirisions in the intro- 
duction. In some classes of sermons this should not be done, 
as it robs the development of interest and of surprise. 

8. General. — ^In introducing the subject, the general may 
be stated if you are going to speak of a particular. If the 
subject of the sermon is ''That the practice of humility brings 


happinefls to a man/' the introduction may be, ^^That the prac- 
tice of virtne in general brings happiness to the world.*' 

9. HfMmUty. — ^Humility, real and profound, should mark 
the introduction. You are probably addressing some souls 
who are far more advanced than you in the knowledge of the 
subject, or in union with God. You are certainly des^Ung with 
truths and mysteries which no human eloquence can handle 
adequately. It is not advisable to say in the introduction that 
you "are not worthy to deal with so exalted a theme." This 
may possibly become sufBciently apparent as you go on ; in any 
case, it is a point which should be left to the judgment of your 
audience. An affected humility disgusts. It is best not to 
speak about yourself at all. 

10. The Aim Revealed or Concealed. — ^It depends on the 
nature of the sermon whether the aim or object you have in 
mind should be revealed or concealed. Sometimes it is well 
to state it in the introduction, so that it may be present to the 
mind as a dominant thought throu^^out the discourse ; this we 
may call the aim revealed — e.g.: 

Subject: To receive Holy Communion is the dying com- 
mand of our Lord to us. 

Object: I hope I may be able to persuade you to come 
with devotion, and frequently. 


At other times it is best not to reveal, but to conceal, one's 
aim ; for if it is declared it may awaken obstinate opposition, 
and lose the element of surprise — e.g.: 

Subject: To convert souls by the thought of death. 
Introduction: So-and-so passed away last week. We 

buried the body on Saturday. Where is the soul ? What 

is he thinking now? 

It is just the difference of Alpine scenery. Sometimes our 
objective, the peak we have to climb, is in our sight all the 
time; at other times we pass through deep deffles and lovely 
valleys, and the objective is only seen in brief and occasional 
glimpses. I expect the psychological reason for this is that 
certain things can be obtained by direct effort, and other things 
come as by-products, and cannot be won directly — e.g.^ health 
is a by-product of harmonious functioning. The less you think 


about it the more you have it* Those who think about it exces- 
aivdy lose it, and become hypochondriacs. Or salvation, which 
is a by-product of redemptive effort on behalf of others* Those 
who seek it lose it; those who lose it find it. 

11* To be Composed Last. — ^The introduction should in- 
variably be composed last. With the majority of public speak- 
ers the subject develops as you go on composing, and may take 
an entirely different direction from the introduction prepared 
first* When you really see in its fuU development what you 
want to introduce to your audience, then you can construct 
an elegant little sketch of it, or ask questions which will stimu- 
late interest in each point by way of introduction. Whately^ 
divides introductions into five classes. 

(1) Introduction Inquisitive^ to show that the subject is 
important, curious, or otherwise interesting. 

(2) The Introduction Paradowical, if the point to be 
proved or explained is one which may be very fully established 
or on which there is little or no doubt to introduce it by a 
paradox, and dwell on the seeming improbability of that which 
must be admitted to be true, will often stimulate thought. The 
stimulating effect of paradox may be studied in S Cor. vi. 
8-11: ^*As deceivers and yet true, as unknown and yet well 
known, as dying and behold we live,'* etc. 

(5) Tlhe Introduction Correctioe^ to show that the subject 
has been neglected, misunderstood, or misrepresented by others, 
which may remove any prelimiary prejudice from the minds of 

(4) The Introduction Preparatory, to explain 9ome pecu- 
liarity in the mode of reasoning, to guard against some possible 
mistflJce in the object proposed. 

(6) The Narrative Introduction, to put before the hearers 
some scene or historical event or some state of things upon 
which the lesson is to be based. 

Cicero is emphatic on the duty of composing the introduc- 
tion last : *^When I have planned and digested all the material 
of my discourse, it is my custom to think in the last place of 
the introduction, with which I am to begin. For if at any time 
I have endeavored to invent an introduction first, nothing has 
ever occurred (o me but what was trifling, nugatory, or vulgar.** 

« •Rhetoric^'* p. 44. 


This will accustom the preacher to appreciate the fact 
that the rhetorical order of thoughts is often quite different 
from their logical mr historical order. 

Xin. — ^Retiew, Eumikate, and Reject 

When the outline has reached this point we are able to 
review the whole. 

Rules foe Revision — 1. The Dominance of Your Aim or 
Object. — ^The whole must be now tested by your aim or 
object. At every point you should ask searching questions: 
''WiU this help, or hinder my aim?" ''Will this illustration 
really help to illustrate the truth, or wiU it distract attention 
from my central object?" If any amplification, or ornament, 
or illustration is likely so to captivate the attention as to dis- 
tract it from the governing and controlling aim, then it must 
be ruthlessly eliminated. 

2. Adorn and Beautify^ — Subject to this dominance of the 
aim, which gives unity to the sermon, pains should be taken to 
enrich the discourse so as to make it beautiful and attractive, 
as well as instructive. We have no ri^t to be dulL We are 
bound to try to please, as well as to instruct, and to move. 
It is well to remember that English audiences find it very hard 
to follow chains of reasoning for any long period. The brain 
needs a rest; and this can be given by the wise interpolation of 
passages which do not require any mental effort on the part of 
those who listen. 

S. Obstacles, — ^In this revision we must examine the mate- 
rial to see whether any argument or illustration is likely to 
arouse needless opposition to, or to awaken prejudices against, 
the central aim. Friction is sometimes necessary and useful 
when hearts are numb, or heads are frost-bitten. But preachers 
as well as listeners generally have some fad or obsession, some 
subject on which they feel strongly, some ''bee in their bonnet," 
which comes bu2ring out on every occasion, to the ruin of 
the unity and harmony of a discourse. It may be "Socialism," 
or "Confession," or "Temperance," or "life and Liberty" — 
excellent things in their way, and most suitable for clear and 
definite exposition, but likely to awaken needless opposition 
if they are allowed to insert themselves into every discourse. 
Perpetual "allusiveness" is a nuisance, and weakens a sermon. 


With some persons this bee in their bonnet, this fixed idea, 
becomes almost a disease, and needs to be watched carefully. 
Every preacher should know and restrain his pet hobbies in 
the realm of thought and speech. 

4. See which Parte need StrengtherUng, — ^When we revise 
an argument we shall ask, Will this convince those who hear? 
Can I make it clearer by an illustration or analogy? Is this 
strictly true and fair? Is this really necessary? The revision 
will not merely show which parts need strengthening. It will 
enable you to secure a due proportion between the various 
parts, some needing to be reduced, and others expanded. 

Other aspects of the purpose of revision will become appar- 
ent in the following pages. 

XIV. — ^Wbite OB Possess the Whole 

It is an open question which each man must decide for him- 
self on each occasion how much, if any, of the sermon ought to 
be written beforehand. Some preachers are at their best when 
they are free from the restraint of a manuscript, because they 
have formed the habit of clear thinking, of vivid visualization 
of truth in the imagination, of the ready command of the right 
words, and of fluent utterance. Others will find that when they 
are preaching often their best thoughts escape them if they 
trust to the inspiration of the moment. Most preachers who 
are in earnest will realize the peril of trusting to natural talent, 
and the temptation of sloth* It may be said that those who 
value freedom to such an extent that they dread the cramping 
effect of forms or schemes of preparation ought to devote as 
much time to prayer as they would to study if they were going 
to write their discourse. Form and Freedom are not in real 
antithesis. Form is the law which disciplines thought. Free- 
dom is the gospel which liberates the spirit. Form is the chalice. 
Freedom is the life which the chalice holds. Form is the scaf- 
folding which is necessary to build the Temple of Freedom. 
Every form needs to be transfigured by the breath and life of 
Freedom, if it is to convey a living Word of God. But with- 
out some form there is a danger that thought may evaporate, 
or wander in such a way as to lose its force. Is it not desirable 
to vecognize a normal, and an abnormal, method of preparation 
— ^in the normal, the use of schemes and forms ; the abnormal, a 


readiness when the Spirit moves one to abandon oneself entirely 
to His inspiration? 

So with writing or not writing one's sermons. Some should 
write the whole. Others would be spoiled by doing so; and 
should work on an outline sketch, preparing carefully the intro- 
duction, the links of transition, and the conclusion. Others 
should write certain passages in the sermon which need careful 
wording, trusting the other parts with which one is more fami- 
liar to the inspiration of the moment. While some preachers 
may be wholly inspirational and would only suffer injury if 
they attempted to formulate their work, most men will be helped 
in normal times by a form, but should be ready to abandon it if 
the Word takes possession of them with power. 

The same duty to follow the personal guidance of the Holy 
Spirit makes it unwise to dogmatize as to whether sermons 
should be read from a manuscript, or delivered freely with only 
notes to guide one. I think it is safe to say that most preachers 
should write their sermons and then learn them by heart, and 
deliver them freely without adhering rigidly to what they have 
written. But there are a few who can read sermons without 
losing the spiritual power of a real personal outgoing of the 
Spirit, as, for example. Dr. Pusey, who wrote, and read with his 
face close to the manuscript, sermons which still quiver with his 
passion and emotion, and still shake souls who read them as 
they did those who were privileged to hear them. 

Perhaps the advice most useful for the average preacher 
may be summed up thus: 

1. A preacher ought to write his sermons fully tmtil he 
has treated most of his truths of religion ; so as to furnish his 
mind and memory with a solid foundation of doctrine and 
phrase, and until he has acquired the gift of easy and fluent 
public utterance. 

2. Writing stores up precious material which would other- 
wise be lost. It also constrains the spirit to reflect deeply, to 
be precise in the use of language, to co-ordinate his thoughts, 
to arrange his reasonings, to acquire a pure style, to study his 
subject deeply, and to treat it perfectly. 

S. Without writing it is difficult to get exactitude and 
precision; it is easy to become vague and indefinite to wan- 
der away down bypaths, and to become merely garrulous and 


We may now proceed to a fuller treatment of sermon con- 
struction, and the development of the subject. 

When the plan of your sermon has been sketched in outline, 
its divisions settled, and the need of skillful transition realized, 
the thought of the sermon may be laid aside for a day or two 
with profit. For the plan is fixed in your brain ; and as the 
great river of life flows through your heart those thoughts 
which are kindred to your subject will detach themselves, and 
gather round this or that point, conversations in your visiting 
will suggest a better division, or a more useful arrangement, or 
a living illustration. This pause also has the advantage of 
allowing your judgment to regain its independence. When a 
subject is first conceived you may become excited by its intel- 
lectual stimulation, or intoxicated by its beauty, and write in 
too exalted a strain for the audience who will listen to you. 
Now this flush of emotion is a necessary quality in a good ser- 
mon. But it needs to be chastened and disciplined if it is to be 
of real power. Emotion in the preacher which is not disciplined 
has a bad effect on the audience, and may make one's style bom- 
bastic rather than powerful. Therefore, what is conceived with 
enthusiasm in the gaslight of one's evening study needs to be 
considered again in the cold gray light of one's morning judg- 
ment, not in order that emotion may be eliminated by cynicism, 
but that it may be disciplined by a calmer judgment. For every 
false emotion dies away in the daylight, and every true emotion 
grows stronger by restraint. Therefore, when the sketch has 
been made on Monday, put it away tiU Wednesday, when you 
win be able to approach it afresh with a sound judgment. The 
whole should be finished by Thursday night, and will gather 
force on Friday and Saturday. 


A. — ^A Sermon in the Making 

This sample of method is given regardless of the quality of 
the sermon with the sole object of illustrating the method of 
construction under severe pressure of time. The sermon itself 
is open to many criticisms. 

The parish was much troubled with want of charity over a 
new appointment, and suffering from divisions, cliques, whisper- 
ings, backbiting, gossip, scandal, of a few dissatisfied persons. 


Another subject had been prepared. But on Saturday, 
when it was noticed that S. Luke vi. 86 was one of the lections 
for the day, it became imperative to preach on Judgment and 

(A) represents the sheet of foolscap on which the first rush 
of ideas were scribbled down in symbols or single words, suf- 
ficient to remind one of a line of thought, some of which have 
here been slightly expanded to make them intelligible to others. 

(B) represents first outline scheme, which formed itself in 
the course of a walk, and was scribbled down in order that pro- 
portions might be seen, and balance and harmony judged. 

It was thus seen to be quite absurd, involving matter which 
could not be dealt with effectively in less than two hours. So 
Section m. : ^'Love, Natural and Supernatural,'' was cancelled, 
and the possibility of dealing faithfully with I. and II. consid- 
ered. This, again, was seen to be impossible. So it was de- 
cided to speak of Judgment in the morning and of Mercy in the 
evening, being careful to unite both in Introduction. This 
would give a real chance of time enough for application and 
exhortation, and the force of varied repetition. 

(C) Next material was sought for. Interesting definitions 
in Cruden's ^^Concordance." Careful reading of the passage in 
Greek. Nothing to be found in Smith's "Dictionary of the 
Bible." A worthless article in "A Religious Encydopiedia" 
based on Herzog, by Philip Schaff, U.S.A. No other books 
available in the vicarage except Shakespeare, Merchant of 
Venice, Copied out what might have been quoted, but was ulti- 
mately crowded out. 

Resolved to make a special study of Justice as an absolute 
value when opportunity occurs, and to get on with necessary 

(D) is the final outline from which the sermon was preached. 

(E) is the sermon as delivered and written out afterward 
to explain the symbols and abbreviations of the outline. 

(A) Catholic Virtues 

Intro.: Riches of Church. My own beam. Mercy and 

To be just is to be cruel. Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth. 
Must judge in some way, so as to know good from evil. 


Is not the best rule to judge acts, not . . • motives. 

E.g.f Difference between ^^This statement is false" — ^^^It is 
a lie." Motive is to action as soul is to body. 

Publicans and harlots enter the kingdom of h. before 

Moral chaos of spite, hatred, and revenge after the war — 
"Try the Kaiser." 

Absolute values. 

Could any of us ask for strict justice? 

Leary: "You must be punished for all you have done which 
has not been discovered." 

R. H. A.m Armley Gaol. 

Love taketh no account of evil. 

Our first impulse is to apply text to neighbor. 

Kindness of God our Saviour. David. 

S. Nicolas, Guildford. No unkind gossip. 

Defend the absent. 

Barrister: "I never prosecute." 

Supernatural love == to love what you don't like because 
dear to God. Hymn of Hate. Our Children. Save the Chil- 
dren Fund. Songs of Love. 

Eustace. No word of cruelty or suffering inflicted on him. 

Corpse. Stench and worms — crawling from mouth. Dead 
whUe she Uveth. Green in hospital, excusing the German 


Intro. : Riches of Church. Saints. Secret of Perfection = 
Love. Love taketh no account of evil. 

I. — Judgment. 

1. Difficulty — ^must judge. Yes. Acts, not motive. 
ft. Human judgment at best defective. R. H. A. — silence. 
8. Strict justice cruel. Eye for eye. Leary and Jew. 
Tooth for tooth. 

n. — Mercy. 

1. Defend the absent. 
S. Make excuses. Benefit of doubt. 

8. Make best of persons. Charity and faith are creative — 
e.g.f wife of worm — ^Napoleon. 


III. — Love: Natural and SupematurdL 

1* Natural: Similarity in inclinaiioii and temperament or 
admiration — desire. 
Gratification of self. 
2. Supernatural: For God's sake, because dear to God. 
To love that which you do not like. 
Strength of Church. 

(C) Final Outline of Headings for Delivery 


1. Last Sunday 8 aspects. Institutional needs ethical J. 
and M. united in Xt. (Ps. Izxxv. 10). 

2. Church rich by ix>yE. 

S. Apply beam and mote to self first. 

4. J. and M. because of moral chaos of war, hatred, etc. 

1. — Judgment. 

1. /. andM.: Linked. M. to-night. 
«. i#* Z>^. ; Of Justice. 

5. iBnd Def.: Every man his due — 

(a) Distributive. 

(b) Commutative. 

II. — Official Judgment. 

Diff.: Duty — to represent G.'s moral government. 
Amwer: 1. Does not apply to commissioned judges. 

2. Christ commissioned Church to judge. 

8. G.'s righteousness in laws. England's judicial system — 

4. Yet human judgment fails — 8 murder cases. Wrong. 
Link: If courts fail, much more individuals. 

III. — Individual Judgment. 

1. Diff.: "We m/ust discern between right and wrong, good 
and bad." 

Ans.: Yes. Judge acts, not motive. Mo. is soul of A. — 
e.g.<, untrue; cf. lie. 

2. Kindness and Censoriousness : Our Lord gave not law, 
but principle; not censorious, but kind. (1) Make best of 
all. (ft) Excuse. (8) Defend absent. 

8. Strict Justice is Cruel: Fathers' meeting at Stepney. 


Portia to Shylock. See salvation. 
Need of Mercy text. 
Self-pity and harsh judgment. 
Con. Sum. : Private Green. 

(D) Sermon a$ Delivered 
S. Luke vi. S7, 86 : Judgment and Mercy. 

Intsoduction. — 1. Last Sunday three aspects of religion 
— ^institutional, ethical, and mystical. Institutional religion, 
with all its forms and ceremonies, may become as dead and 
corrupt as Pharisaism unless it is firmly based on ethical 
foundations, and aflame with mystic love. So, instead of speak- 
ing of the Anglo-Catholic Congress, as you wish me to do, I 
heg you to attend to the Catholic virtues of Justice and Mercy 
as they are reconciled in the love of Christ. In the Psalm for 
Christmas Day (Ps. Ixxxv. 10) we read: *^Mercy and Truth 
are met together: Righteousness and Peace have kissed ei^h 

2. A church or a parish is rich and strong only by growth 
in that love which silences all ill-natured gossip, and stifles all 
unkind criticism, a love which *^suffereth long and is kind," 
which '*is not provoked and taketh no account of evfl, which 
beareth all things, believeth aU things, hopeth all things, en- 
dureth all things." 

8. As our chief peril is to apply to other persons the ex- 
hortation which our Lord would have us apply to ourselves, in 
asking you to take to heart our Lord^s question in this morn- 
ing's Gospel: '^Why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy 
brother's eye, but considereth not the beam that is in thine own 
eye?" I ought to assure you that I have applied this question 
with much severity to myself, before I ventured to ask you to 
do the same. 

4. Justice and Mercy is an appropriate subject at the 
present time because of the moral chaos which the war has left 
behind. Hatred has blinded the soul to justice, and hardened 
it against mercy; and spitefulness and the desire for revenge 
have wounded love. In many hearts love is crucified by the 
remnant of those passions which the war has awakened; and 
God is Love. Even those who are too good, or too anaemic, to 
sin boldly by yielding to hatred and revenge, yet indulge in a 


petty spitefulness, the pricks of the crown of thorns of those 
who are not bold or bad enough to pierce the Sacred Heart 
with the spear. 

1. Judgment. — ( 1 ) It is to be noticed that throughout the 
Bible Judgment is often linked with Mercy as the aittribute of 
God. In order not to exhaust your patience, I propose ta 
speak of Justice this morning, and of Mercy at Evensong. But 
do not allow them to be separated in your heart. 

(2) Definitions of Justice — 1st: That essential perfection 
in God whereby He is infinitely righteous and just, both in His 
nature and in aU His proceedings with His creatures. Ps. 
Ixxxix. 14 : ^^Righteousness and Judgment are the foundations 
of Thy throne : Mercy and Truth go before Thy face.'* 

IBnd Def, : That political virtue which renders to every man 
his due — (a) Distributive, which concerns princes and magis- 
trates, etc.; (b) commutative, which concerns all persons in 
their dealings with one another. 

2. Official JtrnoMENT — Difficulty, — "How can we avoid 
judging others, when it is our duty to represent God's right- 
eousness and moral government to the word?" 

Answer. — (1) Our Lord's words "judge not" do not apply 
to those who are commissioned to judge on behalf of the 

(9) He Himself, to whom all judgment is committed, has 
commissioned his Church to forgive or retain sins, an exercise 
of discipline which involves judgment. 

(8) God's righteousness and justice ought to be reflected in 
the laws of a nation; and the laws should be impartially ad- 
ministered by the judge whom the community appoints. Per- 
haps the fair administration of justice, in spite of many failures 
and defects, is England's most noble record — ^with the rule that 
a man is considered to be innocent until he is proved to be 
guilty, and with the safeguards of the Court of Equity, and 
the King's prerogative of mercy. 

(4) But even when we do our best human judgment often 
errs. I remember reading of three cases in the last thirty years 
of men condemned for murder, who, after suffering some years 
of imprisonment, have been proved by further evidence to be 
innocent, and have been released. 

Link, — ^When, in spite of the highest effort to be just, by 
the most impartial judges, with the best evidence, and most 


skilled advocates, human judgment so often f afls, we can under- 
stand why our Lord forbids us as individuals to judge and con- 
demn one another, blinded as we so often are by passion, pride, 
and prejudice. 

8. iNDivinnAL Judgment — (1) Difficvlty. — ^^^Must we not 
judge if we are to discern between right and wrong, between 
desirable companions and those whom we should avoid?" 

Afuwer. — ^Yes. But is it not a safe rule to judge actions 
which we can see, but not motives which we cannot really 

The motive is to an act as the soul is to the body. We may 
say, if necessary, that a statement is not true* But if we say 
that it is a lie, then we profess to know that the speaker knew 
it to be not true. This is a grave condemnation. 

(2) Kindness and Cemoriausness. — Our Lord was not 
laying down a law, but teaching a principle, which may be 
expressed by saying that He taught us not to be censorious but 
kindly in our judgment. The censorious person is quick to 
dwell upon the bad points in another's character, to magnify 
failures and weaknesses, to impute bad motives, to indulge dis- 
likes and prejudices, to injure another's reputation. Dl-na- 
tured gossip has been described by one saint as a triple murder. 
It slays the esteem in those who hear; it slays the reputation 
of the person of whom one speaks ; it slays the soul of the gos- 
sip. For it kills charity, and charity is the life of the soul. As 
a putrid corpse poisons the air with its stench, and worms of 
decay crawl from its lips, so is one who indulges in ill-natured 
gossip, or scandal — a soul which is dead, and poisoning the 

But the love that is kind will manifest itself in three ways : 

(a) In a great desire to make the best of every one. 

(b) In a readiness to make excuses, as far as truth will 

(c) In a chivalrous defense of those who are absent. 

I was so much struck when working on board H.M.S. 
Vernon with the kindness of sailors in never speaking evil of 
the absent that I praised them for it, and asked how it was done. 
They answered: ^^Oh, if anyone runs down a man in his ab- 
sence, we ask: ^Why don't you tell him?' and the backbiting 
ceases." We have much to learn from them. 

(8) Strict Justice m Cruel. — ^WUch of us dare ask for 


strict justice? When I was first ordained I was addressing a 
"Fathers' Meeting^' at S. Augustine's, Stepney, for the lady 
who conducted it. After my address questions were invited; 
and a young man, with one leg and a crutch, asked whether our 
Lord had said "Judge not, and ye shall not be judged." I 
answered: "Yes, certainly;" and then he poured forth his 
grievances ; how the parochial clergy had turned him out of the 
club for something he had never done. Was not their judging 
him a violation of our Lord's command? I was much embar- 
rassed, and too inexperienced to use the text as a reason for 
not answering his question. But the good lady, who knew her 
fiock, came to my rescue by saying: "You know, Leary, if you 
want strict justice you would have to be punished for all the 
wrong things you have done which have never been found 
out." Entire collapse of questioner! I was told afterward 
that the poor cripple was believed to have killed a Jew with 
his crutch. 

We are reminded of Portia's plea with Shylock : 

Therefore, Jew, 
Though justice be thy plea, consider this. 
That in the course of Justice, none of us 
Should see salvation t we do pray for mercy. 

We all need God's mercy ; and our Lord has taught us that 
we shall find it for ourselves only in so far as we extend it to 
others: ^^ Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: and condemn 
not, and ye shall not be condemned: release, and ye shall be 
released. . . . For with what measure ye mete it shall be 
measured to you again." Is not this in accordance with our 
prayer, ^^Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those that 
trespass against us"? Dare we pray thus if we are hard and 
unforgiving? Those who are most harsh in their judgment of 
others are often full of pity for themselves. It happens so fre- 
quently that it may almost be accepted as a law of the spiritual 
life, that the faults which we most readily condemn in others 
are generally those which are most deadly in ourselves. But sin 
blinds us, and we cannot see. The proud man always notices 
how conceited others are. The selfish mai) admits that he may 
be proud, but what he can't stand in So-and-so is his gross 
selfishness ! 

CoNCXiUSiON. — ^So let us fear Grod's stem judgment for 
every idle word and all ill-natured gossip, and pray that God 


will help us to make the best of every man, to be silent about 
what seems wrong in others unless duty obliges us to speak, to 
make erery possible excuse which truth will sanction, and to 
champion those who are absent, and allow the sin of iQ-natured 
gossip to be burnt up in the flame of God's love. 

A young soldier came into our hospital in France with a 
badly shattered arm, and as he told me how he had come by 
his wound when he was fetching water for his comrades and the 
Germans had shot him, he was so eager on their behalf: ^^Of 
course, sir, I don't blame them in the least. They were only 
doing their duty, same as I should have done if I had been in 
their place." "Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father in 
heaven is merciful." 

B. — ^A SssMON Model 

Text. — "With the Lord is plenteous redemption" (Ps. 
:. 7). 

Aim, — ^By manifesting God's love to move men to contrition 
and confession. 

1. Israel, trust in the Lord. 

S. For with the Lord there is mercy. 

8. And with Him is plenteous redemption. 

Introduction. — ^Nature of Faith as Trust. Can we trust 
Grod? Yes. Mercy. Plenteous redemption. Come back to 
the Gk)d who loves you. 

Pcmt 1 : All social life is based on faith — trust in one another. 

Illustrated by (1) commerce, (S) marriage. 

Poini S: Sometimes men are unmerciful. "I have forgiven him 

time after time, and been deceived. Never again. 
Finished with him." 
Our Lord taught unlimited forgiveness to the peni- 
He will show it ; "with the Lord there is mercy." 

Point S: Friends. The beauty of friendship. David and 

Jonathan. But friends often fail. 

Poffi^ 4: When all turn against you with distrust and loathing 

there is one last refuge — your mother. 


But even our mothers sometiines fail. The Lord will 

'^Can a woman forget her sucking child? Yea . . . 

yet will not I forget thee" (Isa. xlix. 16). 
^'When my father and mother forsake me, the Lord 

taketh me up/' 
Poini 6: The love of father — in David, who worte this psalm. 

Defcriptian of Rebellion. — *^0 Absalom, my son, my son. 
Would God I had died for thee." Repeated as refrain. A re- 
bellious son seeking the life of his father and king, whose tender 
love never changed. 

Clknax.—We are rebellious sons. Christ did die for us. 

Conclusion. — ^You have sinned. God loves you still. Come 

back to Him. 

Note. — 1. The Unity of View — each point comes back to 
the one truth, and echoes the next which embodies the Aim. 

2. The Unity of Means — the perfect ease of transmission 
from — ^Friend — ^Mother — ^Father— God. 

8. The skill which proceeds from what is known and ad- 
mitted, to what is unknown and demonstrated. 

4. The great skill of the crescendo appeals to the best 

5. The variety of approach from several different points 
in circumference to center. 

6. The dramatic crisis which brings in the unexpected and 

7. The skill which works up to the crisis when the hearer 
finds himself convicted, and face to face with wounded love. 

8. The logical inevitableness of the method, so that when 
once seen we can't arrange it otherwise. 

9. The mnemonic perfection; so that neither speaker nor 
hearer can forget the process by which conviction comes. You 
could repeat the sermon without seeing it again. 

10. The ample room given for vivid personal illustrations 
which will bring home conviction — e.g.^ sins against friends, or 
mother, or father. 

11. The great opportunity for pathos and majesty in 
peroration. The final approach to God is so perfect in its 


C. — ^Ths PnmiFicilTioK of S. Maet the Viegik 

I. Read the relevant passages of Scripture in reference 
iR.y.: S. Luke u. Sl-SS, 27, 89; Mai. iii. 1; Lev. xii.; Exod. 
xiii. S, 12; 1 Sam. i. 28, 27, 28; BaL iv. 4, 5. 

II. Write out the references which seem to you relevant — 
e.g. : 

First Subject: Obedience to the Law. 

S. Luke ii. 22: ^'purification according to the law of 

Verse 28 : "written in the law of the Lord." 

Verse 24: "the law of the Lord." 

Verse 27 : "after the custom of the law." 

Verse 89 : "according to the law of the Lord." 

Gal. iv. 4: "but when the fullness of time came, God sent 
forth His Son, bom of a woman, bom under the law, that He 
might redeem them which were under the law, that we mi^t 
receive the adoption of sons." 

Lev. xii. 4: "three and thirty days . . . until the days of 
her purifying be fulfilled." 

Verse 6 : "And when the days of her purifying are fulfilled, 
for a son or for a daughter, she shall bring a lamb of the first 
year for a burnt-offering and a young pigeon, or a turtle dove, 
for a sin-offering. ..." 

Verse 8 : "And if her means suffice not for a lamb, then she 
shall take two turtle doves, or two young pigeons ; the one for 
a burnt-offering, and the other for a sin-offering. ..." 

Exod. xiii. 1 : "Sanctify unto Me all the first-bom, what- 
soever openeth the womb among the children of Israel, both 
of man and of beast : it is Mine." 

Verse 12: "that thou set apart unto the Lord all that 
openeth the womb: and every firstling which thou hast that 
Cometh of a beast ; the males shall be the Lord's." 

1 Sam. i. 24-27 : "She brought him unto the house of the 
Lord in Shiloh. . . . And she said . • . For this child I 
prayed; and the Lord hath given to me my petition which I 
asked of Him : therefore I also have granted him to the Lord ; 
as long as he liveth he is panted to the Lord." 

Second Subject : The Cofning of the Lord to Hie Temple. 

Mai. iii. 1 : "The Lord whom ye seek shall suddenly come 
to His temple." 


in. — On glancing over these passages possible lines of 
treatment at once suggest themselves; and we must ask which 
will be most spiritually profitable to the people to-day; and 
whether both the thoughts of Purification and Presentation can 
be presented in one sermon, or whether we ought to treat them 
separately. The following outlines seem suitable to various 
congregations : (1) Obedience to Law. (ft) Sacrifice, as Entire 
Consecration. (3) Obedience the Essence of Sacrifice. (4) 
The Hallowing of the Temple. (6) Missionary Zeal. The 
illustrative material may be applied where it will come in natu- 
rally. The introduction describing the scene may be used in 
each case. 

1st Outlines: Obedience to Law. — ^It seems difficult to 
think seriously over the five references to the law in this short 
passage without thinking also of S. Paul's reaction against the 
law, and of his preaching of Faith and Freedom. This will 
inevitably suggest questions as to the function of law, and the 
nature of freedom ; the twin perils of lawlessness and legalism ; 
the nature of anarchy and despotism; the union of law and 
liberty in the Christian system; the teaching by example and 
precept of our Lord with regard to law ; law : natural, civil, and 

It will be obvious that some of these points will not be of 
interest to certain congregations, while they will bear very 
directly on two opposed evils prevalent in the Church — ^the 
mere anarchy of the Protestant individualist, and the dead 
legalism of the unconverted ritualist. Each priest who loves his 
Lord and his flock will know which point needs most to be 
emphasized. But for a first effort we may sketch out a plan 
which will have unity and force, as follows : 

Subject: Obedience to law. 

Object: To show that obedience to the laws of God in His 
Church is the duty of Christians, and that law without love is 

Introduction : To be composed last. 

Paint /.: Definition of Terms. — (It is useless to talk about 
law and obedience unless the people know what you mean by 
these terms.) 

1. What is law? 

2. What is obedience? 

3. Two kinds of obedience* 



Paint II. : LegaU$m and LaiwUssnets. — 

1* Legalism. 

2. LawIessnesB. 

8. The true function of law. 

Paint IIL : The Law af Lave. — 

1. Our Lord's teaching. 

2. S. Paul's teaching, 
ft. S. John's teaching. 

Conclusion. — ^It is a duty to obey with love. 

This sketch will preserve unity, and suggest many different 
expansions according to the need of emphasizing any special 
lesson. The next expansion may take the form of expanding 
any one point into a whole sermon — e.g.^ a sermon on legalism, 
•r on lawlessness. But it would take too much space to give 
collateral expansions of this sort, so we will suggest a second 
expansion of the whole. 

2nd Outline. — ^Introduction : To be composed last. 

Poffi^ /.: Definition of Terms . — 1. What is Lawf — Law 
is a rule of action, or of conduct laid down by authority, or 
recognized by man by mutual consent; an edict or decree of 
a ruler, or a government. (Collateral expansions possible on 
laws of Nature, a misnomer; good and bad laws; the growth 
and change of law.) 

2. What it Obedience? — Obedience is the act or habit of 
obeying; compliance with a command, prohibition, or known 
law and rule prescribed; submission to authority. (Collateral 
expansions. Obedience to conscience; conflict of authority — 
e.g.. Church and State. Is not rebeUion sometimes a duty?) 

8. Two Kinds af Obedience — 

(a) The obedience of slaves. 

(b) The obedience of sons. 

Poifi^ //.: Legalism and Lawlessness — 1. Legalism. — 
Question: Does not S. Paul warn us against losing the free- 
dom of sons and becoming slaves of the law? Is not freedom 
the essence of the Oospel? Answer: Yes. But freedom is 
not opposed to law. The antithesis (opposite, contradiction) 
of law is lawlessness or anarchy. Freedom is the willing obedi- 
ence to a righteous law. The antithesis of freedom is slavery. 

Slavery is the unwilling service offered by fear to compul- 


sion or necessity. Freedom is the willing service offered by 
love to righteousness and justice. 

Without law there is no liberty. But law is not an end in 
itself. It is a means to an end, the fullness of freedom. 

Legalism makes law an end in itself — e.g.^ the external 
formalism of the Pharisee. 

2. Laiwlessnes9 is not liberty but license. It is the unre- 
strained self-assertion of each individual in disregard of the 
whole (cf. monkey-house at Zoo). 

8. The True Teaching. — ^The truth upon which our Lord 
and S. Paul insisted was that outward obedience to the law 
was not acceptable to God without the inward spirit of love. 
Our Lord especially says : ^^hink not that I came to destroy 
the law or the prophets : I came not to destroy, but to f ulfiU" 
(S. Matt. V. 17). *^The Scribes and Pharisees sit on Moses' 
seat'' (S. Matt, xxiii. 8). S. Paul: ''Do we then make (the) 
law of none effect through faith? God forbid; nay, we estab- 
lish the law" (Rom. iii. 81). 

Link. — ^The point insisted on by our Lord, and echoed by 
S. Paul, is that the outward observance of the law is worth- 
less unless it be inspired by love. 

Pdnit III.: The Law of Love — 1. Our Lord. — S. Luke 
X. 86: ''What is written in the law? how readest thou? And 
the lawyer answering said. Thou shalt love the Lord thy God 
with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with aJl thy 
strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thy- 
self.''^ (For verses 25-88, see S. Luke xviii. 18-80 [the rich 
young man] ; S. Matt. xix. 16-88, xxii. 84-41 ; S. Mark x. 
7-19, xii. 80; Deut. vi. 6.) 

8. S. PauL — ^Rom. xiii. 8: "Owe no man anything, save 
to love one another: for he that loveth his neighbor hatii ful- 
filled the law." . . . "Love therefore is the fulfillment of 
(the) law." 

8. jS^. John. — 1 S. John iii. 4 : "Sin is lawlessness." 8 S. 
John verse 5: "Not as though I wrote to thee a new com- 
mandment, but that which we had from the beginning, that we 
love one another. And this is love, that we should walk after 
His commandments." 1 S. John iii. 11: "For this is the 
message which we heard from the beginning, that we should 
love one another." 

k-*-Law without love is a body without a soul, 


and is dead. Love fulfills the righteous law for the sake of the 
conmioii life> and makes life possible. The true Christian will 
strictly obey the laws of God and of the Church with a love 
which makes them ultimately the expression of his own wilL 

1. The next point is to choose a text which, if possible, 
should gather up and re-echo at every point the teaching of the 
whole. The obvious one for this outline is ^^Love is the ful- 
filling of the law'^ (Rom. xiii. 10). 

9. Then comes the careful construction of the introduction, 
which in the case of this incident can be used with modification 
for any of the outlines suggested. When the introduction is 
the description of a scene in history, exercise your imagination 
until the scene is vividly before you. 

Material for Introduction. — 1. The temple: its marble and 
gold, its various divisions, its columns, altar, etc. 

S. See the people passing in and out, some with offerings, 
going to the keepers of the doves, paying the purchase money, 
bringing the doves to the priests, some persons praying, some 

8. See the Holy Family entering the great building. (Here 
it must strike you how great the contrast between the majesty 
of the building, and the apparent unimportance of this little 
group of the very poor.) 

Hear the voices of the priests and the people, the chink of 
the money, the words of Simeon, hear them reverberating down 
the ages. 

Coniider the meaning of the scene. The significance of 
the common place. The reversal of values between the esti- 
mate of God and man. The hollowness of the mere outward 
form. The activities of the Holy Spirit guiding and inspiring 
Simeon and Anna — God gathering true worshipers around 
Him when He comes to His temple. 

Material for the Scene: Edersheim, ^^The Life and Times 
of Jesus the Messiah,'^ vol. i., p. 197, ninth edition. Article 
on the "Temple" (Hastings' Dictionary). 

Collection of Material. — ^The sketch as at present drawn 
may be full of interest to clergy with minds stored with much 
supplementary matter. But it will probably be dull and unin- 
teresting to minds unaccustomed to think on these subjects. 
We have no right to be dull, or obscure. The sketch needs 


illustratioii and adornment. It is a skeleton which must be 
clothed with flesh and blood, and then the Holy Spirit will 
breathe upon it and it wiU become a living word from God. 
Therefore much prayer and much patient study are needed. 
Appended are some illustrations and material collected hap- 
hazard, which can be used or not as each method of treatment 
makes its use suitable. 

Notes an the PvHfication of S. Mary the Virgin 

1. The Ck>Li<£CT suggests the important principle that 
what our Lord does or suffers for us He must do and suffer ff» 
us, and we must do and suffer for Him. There is a perpetual 
osmosis or interpenetration always going on between our hu- 
manity and His ; ^^in substance of our flesh," He takes our flesh 
into union with His Divine Person. ^^The Word became flesh, 
and dwelt among us" (S. John i. 14). Our flesh is His by 
the Incamaticm. His flesh is ours in liie Blessed Sacrament — 
*^The Body of our Lord Jesus Christ which was given for thee 
preserve thy body and soul unto everlasting life." He is not 
merely our substitute who does things instead of us. He does 
them on behalf of us. As He is presented to His Father on 
our behalf, so we at our baptism were presented to the Father, 
that our whole being, body, soul, and spirit, might be con- 
secrated to His service. At every Eucharist our Lord presents 
us to the Father in union with the one perfect sacrifice of His 
Divine Humanity, which we re-present — ^present again — to the 
Father. At every Mass our Lady presents us to her Son, in 
order that He may present us to the Father. ^Ture and 
clean hearts ;" cf. Collect for Purity. "Pure" means more than 
clean. It means a heart possessed with a single purpose for 
God's glory, and ready to do and suffer anything for His sake. 

2. The Epistle (Mai. iii. 1). — Note the intensely ethical 
tone of this passage. God cannot accept all the dross which 
is mingled with the sacrifice of ourselves. "Our God is a con- 
suming fire" (Heb. xii, 29). His ministers "a flame of fire" 
(Heb. i. 7). The fire tests our spirits, our bodies, our faith- 
fulness to our word, our social and economic life. The per- 
son who underpays those whom he employs is as sinful as the 
adulterer. Covetousness ranks with fornication in the Chris- 
tian ethic. 1 Cor. v. 11: "If any man that is named a 


• » 

brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater . . 
with such a one no, not to eat." Social righteousness, not 
sentimental piety, is what God demands. 

8. The Lessons. — ^New Lectionary. The vigil. Exod. 
xiii. 11-16: The first-bom to be offered to the Lord in grati- 
tude for deliverance from bondage. Gal. iv. 1-7: God's gift 
of His Son that we might receive the adoption of sonship. 
Because we are sons God sent forth the Spirit of His Son into 
our hearts. 

Morning. — 1 Sam. i. 21: Hannah brings Samuel. *^For 
this child I prayed; and the Lord hath given me my petition 
which I asked of Him: therefore I also hare granted (lent) 
him to the Lord; as long as he liveth he is granted to the 
Lord." Heb. x. 1-10: Law and outward sacrifices are (mly 
to educate the will to entire consecration. 

Evening, — Haggai ii. 1-9: *^Be strong, all ye people of 
the land, saith the Lord, and work : for I am with you, saith 
the Lord of hosts." Verse 7 : "I will fill this house with glory, 
saith the Lord of hosts." Rom. xii. 1-6: "Present your 
bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God." "We, 
who are many, are one body in Christ, and severally members 
one of another." (See also 1 Cor. x. 17 and xii. IS.) 

4. Paradoxes — -(1) Pire de Davignon, — ^** Jesus Christ 
gives Himself to you as King, and as Victim. He reigns as 
King; He immolates Himself as Victim. He is King to bless 
you, to shower upon you the riches of His gifts; Victim to 
expiate your offenses, to cleanse you from your sins, to gain 
for you the strength and the graces which you need. King 
to await you in heaven, and to place a crown upon your head ; 
Victim to compassionate your sorrows, to lighten your woes, 
to recompense you for the cruel deception ever to be found in 
this world. Accept Him, then, as King and as Victim, in 
faith and in love ; never separate these two titles. Beg of your 
Mother to offer you to her Son, even as she offered Him 
to His Father, and then this prayer granted will be your 

(ft) Bourdalaue. — ^^^The Man God offered to God, the Holy 
of Holies consecrated to the Lord, the sovereign Priest of the 
new covenant in the state of a Victim, the Redeemer of the 
World Himself redeemed, a Virgin purified, and a Mother sac- 
rifices her Son — ^what prodigies in the order of Grace !" 


CoMMEKTABDss (Summabizbd) — (1) Wordiwarth.-^TldMt 
the second act of obedience to the law. "All the first-born of 
man among thy children shalt thou redeem" (Exod. xiii. IS, 
xxii. S9, xzxiv. 20), as Isaac had been redeemed (Gen. xzii. 
18). The price of redemption, five shekels of silver = twelve 
shillings and sixpence (modem). "Two turtle doves'^ shows 
the poverty of Joseph and Mary, and of Him who became 
poor for our sakes that we might be made rich. Thus also 
the Blessed Virgin joined with her Divine Son in '^fulfilling 
all righteousness"; for as He came into the world pure and 
sinless, so she needed no purification or restoration to the 
Lord's house after His birth. 

''The consolation of Israel" — a phrase used as a designa- 
tion of the Messiah (cf. Isa. xL 1, Ivii. 18) ; "another Com- 
forter*' (S. John xiv. 16) ; "Thy salvation"— a title of CSirist 
(Exod. XV. 2, Ps. xxvii. 1); "the Salvation of God"; "A 
Light" {cf. Isa. Ix. S: "And nations shall come to Thy 

(2) Pire Didon (vol. i., p. 68). — ^"They (Joseph and 
Mary and the Holy Child) presented themselves in the Court 
of Women, before the gate of Nicanor, at the foot of the steps 
where was the entry to the Court of the Priests in front of 
the Altar of Burnt Offerings. They gave the five pieces, and 
Mary handed over to the priest two doves." 

Simeon. — ^"During his long life he had seen the earthly for- 
tunes of his land decline; he was among those saddened by 
the reign of Herod, with its heathen impieties, but nothing 
could subdue in him the hope of deliverance. He was the type 
of ardent and serene faith. Old age is too often complaining 
and discouraged, but under his white hairs he kept the trust 
of young souls ; he did not grieve but waited. God spoke to 
his heart; a secret voice told him that the hour of IsraePs 
salvation was at hand, and that he should not die untQ he 
had seen the Lord's Anointed," etc. 

(8) Blunt, — Doves J typical of the love, purity, and meek- 
ness of Christ anointed above His fellows with the gifts of the 
Divine Dove (cf. Baptism). 

(4) Edersheim. — "Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah," 
vol. i., p. 191 et seq.f has much of interest. 

(6) Phummer ("The International Critical Commentary," 
p. 64).^"Thi8 visit to Jerusalem probably preceded the arri- 


val of the Magi, after which Joseph and Mary would hardly 
have ventured to bring Him to the city. If this is correct, 
we must abandon the traditional view that the Epiphany 
took place on the thirteenth day after the Nativity. We 
adopt, therefore, as a tentative order the Presentation on the 
fortieth day, return to Bethlehem, visit of Magi, flight into 
Egypt, without any return to Nazareth. 

(6) Various. — 1. In Saxon times mothers used to bring 
their first-bom sons to church to be offered at the altar. 

ft. The great help of consecrating children to God's imme- 
diate service in the priesthood, the mission field, or the reli- 
gious life. The aspiration of parents must not dominate a 
child's unfolding life; but it may surround it with an atmos- 
phere of suggestion which will encourage the development of 
God's purpose for the soul. 

S. A woman once told me, and asked me to tell others, 
that when first married she had shirked the burden of mother- 
hood. But on hearing a sermon against the use of artificial 
means of preventing conception she and her husband realized 
that they might be frustrating God's will, so they abandoned 
these methods, and a son was bom whom they caUed ^Hhe son 
of obedience." Within a year the father died, and the son 
became the light and joy of his mother's life. He is now a 
priest, and an able missionary fulfilling his vocation — "a light 
to lighten the Grentiles." 

4. Candlemas. It is the custom on the feast of the Purifi- 
cation at the Mass, for the priests and attendants and, when 
possible, all the congregation to carry lighted candles in the 
procession. Christ is the Light of the world. He said to us : 
**Ye are the light of the world." He bade us : "Let your light 
so shine before men that they may see your good works, and 
glorify your Father, which is in heaven." 




Ws are leaving aside for the present all thought of beau- 
tifying, omamentingy and enriching the sermon with illustra- 
tion. This task will be treated in a later chapter. Our pres- 
ent subject is to note some of the methods of developing the 
instructional and the argumentative aspect of the sermon. 

To preach instructivelj, to teach effectuaUy^ has always 
been looked upon as the first duty of a Christian orator, and 
is of supreme importance at the present time in England. 

I. — ^Thb Thbes Pbincipij&s of Okatoby 

The orator has to keep in view three dominant principles 
upon which all great masters of the art are agreed. His 
purpose is threefold: (1) To instruct; (2) to please; (S) to 
move. To instruct the mind; to please the heart; to move 
the win. To instruct the mind, in order that it may see the 
truth; to inflame the heart, in order that it may love the truth; 
to move the will, in order that it may obey the truth. 

Cicero emphasizes these three in his treatise on *^The 
Orator": *^The eloquent orator, then, is a man who speaks in 
the forum and in civil causes in such a manner as to prove, to 
delight, and to persuade. To prove is necessary for him; 
to delight is a proof of his sweetness ; to persuade is a token of 
victory.*' ^ ■.£ 

Again, Quintilian (^^Education of an Orator,'* Book m., 
chap, v., p. 188) : "There are three objects which the orator 
must accomplish: to inform, to move, and to please." 

"In vain," writes a French author, "in vain does the orator 
unite the advantage of a logic just and exact, a knowledge 



wide and profound ; in vain his learning as a theologian, or his 
skill as a dialectician ; he will have little success as a preacher 
unless he has the art of presenting the truth in a way to m%ke 
it esteemed, loved, and willed. The art of oratory reveals the 

S. Augustine (^'On Christian Doctrine," Book IV., chap, 
xvii., sec. 17, '^Threefold Division of the Various Styles of 
Speech") writes thus : 

**He, then, who in speaking aims at enforcing what is good 
should not despise any of these three objects, either to teach, 
or to give pleasure, or to move; and should pray and strive, 
as we have said above, to be heard with intelligence, with pleas- 
ure, and with ready compliance. And when he does this with 
elegance and propriety he may justly be called eloquent, even 
though he do not carry with him the assent of his hearers. 
For it is these three ends — ^viz., teaching, giving pleasure, and 
moving — that the great master of Roman eloquence himself 
seems to have intended that the following three directions 
should subserve : ^He, then, shall be eloquent who can say little 
things in a subdued style, moderate things in a temperate 
style, and great things in a majestic style' (Orator 29), as if 
he had taken in all the things mentioned above, and had em- 
braced them all in one sentence thus: ^He, then, shall be elo- 
quent who can say little things in a subdued style in order to 
give instruction, moderate things in a temperate style in order 
to give pleasure, and great things in a majestic style in order 
to sway the mind.' " 

Campbell, in his "Philosophy of Rhetoric" (p. 18), need- 
lessly splits these three into four. "All the ends of speaking 
are reducible to four, every speech being intended to enlighten 
the understanding, to please the imagination, to move the pas- 
sions, or to influence the will. Any one discourse admits of 
only one of these as the principal; the others come in only 
in so far as they help." 

It is difficult to divide these three ends for treatment, as 
they are constantly interpenetrating — ^three in one and one in 
three. But if this be borne in mind it is permissible to make a 
scientific abstraction, and to speak first of the instruction 
which will enlighten ; then of the enrichment which will please ; 
and lastly of the appeal to the passions which will move the 


Instruction may be of manj kinds. But for the priest two 
duties stand out above the rest. He must instruct his people 
in the doctrines of our holy religion, and in the manner of 
life which they involve. So we have dealt with teaching under 
the two headings, dogmatic and ethical. The two cannot be 
separated. In fact, only distinguished in emphasis. For the 
preacher in the Catholic Church unites in himself the office of 
prophet and priest ; and Christian truth is a union of thought 
and action, of creed and conduct, of idea and energy, a revela- 
tion which is a way of life, just because God is not merely a 
heavenly vision, but also a divine energy which demands a 
personal response, and which wrings from the Apostle's heart 
the cry, "I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision** and the 
frequent expression, "obedient unto the truth." 

n. — ^Instuuctive Pkeachino 

"When a speaker addresseth himself to the understanding 
he proposes the instruction of his hearers ; and that, either by 
explaining some doctrine unknown or not distinctly compre- 
hended by them, or by proving some position disbelieved or 
doubted by them. In other words, he proposes either to dispel 
ignorance or vanquish error. In the one his aim is their infor- 
mation; in the other their conviction. Accordingly, the pre- 
dominant quality of the former is perspicuity, of the latter 
argument. By that we are made to know, by this to beUeve" 
(Campbell, "Philosophy of Rhetoric," p. 86). 

1. We may, then, distinguish in instruction between the 
exposition or explanation of a subject, and its argumentation. 
The first is to place the subject plainly before the people, 
so that each one quite understands that with which the dis- 
course deals. The second supplies the reasons why the Church 
teaches thus, or why men should act in such and such a way. 
But no words could better describe the duty of a Christian 
teacher than those of S. Augustine ("On Christian Doctrine," 
Book IV., sec. iv.) : 

"It is the duty, then, of the interpreter and teacher of Holy 
Scripture, the defender of the true faith, and the opponent of 
error, both to teach what is right and to refute what is wrong, 
and in the performance of this task to conciliate the hostile, 
to rouse the careless, and to tell the ignorant both what is 


occurring at present and what is probable in the future. But 
once that his hearers are f riendlj, attentive, and ready to learn, 
whether he has found them so or has himself made them so, 
the remaining objects are to be carried out in whatever way 
the case requires. If the hearers need teaching, the matter 
treated of must be made fully known to them by means of 
narrative. On the other hand, to clear up points that are 
doubtful requires reasoning and exhibition of proofs. If, how- 
ever, the hearers require to be roused rather than instructed 
in order that they may be diligent to do what they already 
know, and to bring their feelings into harmony with the truths 
they admit, greater vigor of speech is needed. Here entreaties 
and reproaches, exhortations and pleadings, and all the other 
means of rousing the emotions are necessary." (Clearness 
which enables the thought to be understood is the first neces- 
sity.) '^And what advantage is there in purity of speech which 
does not lead to understanding in the hearer, seeing that there 
is no use at all in speaking if they do not understand us for 
whose sake we speak. He, therefore, who teaches will avoid 
all words that do not teach, and if instead of them he can find 
words that are at once pure and intelligible he will take these 
in preference; if, however, he cannot, either because there are 
no such words or because they do not at the time occur to him, 
he will use words which are not quite pure (Latin), if only the 
substance of his thought be conveyed and apprehended in its 
integrity" (p. 187). 

S. The neglect of instruction has been the chief sin of our 
part of the Catholic Church in England for the past three cen- 
turies. Our Catechism, which is an admirable statement of 
some of the truths of religion, is defective for teaching purposes 
because of the unwieldy length of many of the answers, which 
need to be broken up into short sentences ; also because it con- 
tains no statement of the end of man, nor of the nature, author- 
ity, and function of the Church. Those in authority in the 
Church have not been sufficiently keen on definite Church 
teaching. They have fought for Church schools, but have not 
taken sufficient care that the teaching given in them is really 
the teaching of the Church. They have been content to teach 
a vague, amorphous, atmospheric religiousness, which covers 
a vast and almost useless reading of t}ie Bible, but gives to the 
children little or no knowledge of the Way of Life. 


The preacher, therefore, must not take for granted that 
any of ijie fundamental doctrines of our religion are clearly 
known by all who hear him* Fleury's words are true of us 
to-day : ^^Although there is much preaching, yet it may be said 
that there is not sufficient instruction for Christians, even the 
best intentioned. We only treat (in the pulpit) particular 
subjects generally detached from one another — according to 
the festival, the Gospel, or the plan of the preacher. We rarely 
explain first principles, and those facts which are the founda- 
tion of every dogma. So that we find everywhere good people 
who have attended church for forty or fifty y^rs, and yet 
are ignorant of the first elements of the Catechism/' 

8. Our duty to teach in every sermon is based on our 
Lord's command (S. Matt. xxviiL 18) : ^^AU authority hath 
been given unto Me in heaven and on earth. Gro ye therefore 
and make disciples of aU the nations, baptizing them into the 
name of the Father, the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching 
them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you: and 
lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world." 
These words, "teach," "teaching," "disciples," verified as they 
are by the practice of the Church from its earliest days, do 
place the duty of teaching in the first place in a preacher's 
work. The Church our Lord founded is a teaching Church 
which has to make disciples, not a popular Church which has 
to attract patrons. The Church is not, primarily, a psycho- 
logical research society for the discovery of the truth, but a 
Divine society for teaching the truth ; and a holy fellowship for 
living the truth. There is a body of truth which constitutes 
God's revelation of Himself in the Incarnation of His only- 
begotten Son Jesus Christ. This revelation He committed to 
His Body, the Catholic Church. It was carefully taught to 
every catechumen before he was received by Holy Baptism into 
the Apostles' Fellowship. It was summarized in the Creed, and 
embodied in the tradition for many years before it was recorded 
in the Gospels. S. Luke, in the preface to his Gospel, and 
S. Paul, in many allusions in his Epistles, are writing to 
persons who have been carefully instructed in the tradition. 
S. Luke i. 4: "wherein thou wast instructed"; Acts xviii. 95: 
"Apollos . . . had been instructed in the way of the Lord." 
For the teaching? was not only in dogma, the summary of the 
Apostles' teaching; it was also in "tlie way of liUFe," the 


diidpline of the Apostles' Fellowship. For the Christian^ 
creed and conduct, dogma and ethics are always united, 
Bince the truth we worship is also the Way and the Life — 
a Person who does not seek our patronage, but claims our 

4. Our Church emphasizes this duty of teaching again and 
again, exhorting priests at their ordination ^*to instruct the 
people committed to your charge, and to teach nothing as re- 
quired of necessity to eternal salvation, but that which you shall 
be persuaded may be concluded and proved by the Scrip- 
tures.'^ Every priest vows **so to minister the doctrine, and 
sacraments, and discipline of Christ, as the Lord hath com- 
manded and as the Church and realm hath received the 
same according to the commandment of God: so that you may 
teach the people committed to your care and charge with all 
diligence to keep and observe the same." 

Every priest vows that he is ^^ready with all faithful dili- 
gence to banish and drive away alt erroneous and strange doc- 
trines contrary to Grod's Word; and to use both public and 
private monitions and exhortation, as well to the sick as to 
the whole, within your Cures, as need shall require and occasion 
shall be given." 

Every priest vows ^Ho be diligent in prayers, and in the 
reading of the Holy Scriptures, and in such studies as help 
to the knowledge of the same, laying aside the study of the 
world, and the flesh." 

Every priest is commissioned by the Holy Ghost, through 
the Church, to forgive or retain sins (i^.» to exercise disci- 
pline), to be ^^a faithful dispenser of the Word of God and of 
His holy sacram^its," and is given ^^authority to preach the 
Word of God and to minister the sacraments in the congrega- 
tion where thou shalt be lawfully appointed there." 

The purpose of his preaching, and the meaning of his min- 
istry, is described in that majestic prayer which precedes his 
ordmation : ^^ Almighty God and heavenly Father, who of Thine 
infinite love and goodness toward us hast given to us Thine 
only and most dearly beloved Son, Jesus Christ, to be our 
Redeemer, and the Author of everlasting life; who, after He 
had made }>erfect our redemption by His death, and was 
ascended into heaven, sent abroad into the world His Apostles, 
prophets, evangelists, doctors, and pastors, by whose labor and 


ministry He gathered together a great flock in all parts of the 
world) to set forth the eternal praises of Thy holy Name: for 
these so great benefits of Thy eternal goodness, and for that 
Thou hast vouchsafed to call these Thy servants here present 
to the same Office and Ministry appointed for the salvation 
of mankind, we render unto Thee most hearty thanks, we 
praise and worship Thee ; and we humbly beseech Thee, by the 
same Thy blessed Son, to grant unto all which either here or 
elsewhere call upon Thy holy Name, that we may continue to 
show ourselves thankful unto Thee for these and all other Thy 
benefits ; and that we may daily increase and go forward in the 
knowledge and faith of Thee and Thy Son, by the Holy Spirit. 
So that as well by these Thy ministers as by them over whom 
they shall be appointed Hiy ministers. Thy holy Name may 
be forever glorified, and Thy blessed kingdom oilarged: 
through the same Thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth 
and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the same Holy Spirit, 
world without end." 

No words could better express the preacher's aim and task, 
nor more fuUy emphasize his duty to teach the Apostles' doc- 
trine and fellowship. 

In thus at all points insisting on the duty of teaching and 
learning, the Church has shown great wisdom. For a vague 
mysticism which is not steadied by historical and dogmatic 
teaching is apt to evaporate into an emotional or sentimental 
religiosity. So the Church in her Catechism teaches souls that 
it is their duty to God to love Him with the mind, as well as 
with the heart. *^My duty toward God is to believe in Him, 
to fear Him, and to love Him, with all my heart, with all my 
mind, with all my soul, and with all my strength." 

The duty of instruction is urged upon priests with much 
eloquence by Bishop Dupanloup in his admirable '^Ministry of 
Preaching," p. 48 : 

**lN8TaucTnnB Psbachino. — 1. Instructive preaching is 
when the teaching of religion, definite, precise, exact, and 
complete teaching forms its basis its ground, and ruling 

**9. Instructive preaching is that of an intelligent and 
lealous pastor who is diligent to teach the faithful oitrusted 
to his care all that is necessary or useful for them to know of 
rdigion — ^that is to say, the truths of the Faith, and all the 



great historical facts which make up their foundation and their 
proof; the commands of God and of the Church; the Christian 
virtues, with the means of acquiring them, and of avoiding 
the contrary vices, namely, prayer, which draws down grace, 
the sacraments, which impart and increase it, the prin- 
cipal parts of Divine worship, Church festivals, and devotions. 
So that, in the parish of this pastor, every man of ordinary 
intelligence, who desires sincerely to be well informed about 
his religion, has only to follow industriously for some years the 
preaching of his cur6 to gain a solid and sufficient instruction 
in it. 

^S. Preaching which does not instruct. This is the preach- 
ing that does not instruct: that a person might listen to for 
entire years without ever thoroughly learning his religion; 
which could be multiplied, even lavished upon a parish, and yet 
leave that parish in ignorance. Yes, gentlemen, there are 
parishes where there is preaching every Sunday — even several 
times every Sunday — sermon, discourse, address to fraternities, 
yet where ignorance on the subject of religion, that great curse 
of souls and of peoples, still reigns, because in those parishes 
the pastors preach, but do not instruct. And that is what 
happens when they deliver only vague and detached discourses, 
more or less well written, if you please, but utterly wanting in 
foundation and doctrine. 

'^When dogmatic truths or moral precepts are only pre- 
sented to the hearers by shreds and broken pieces, without 
order, without context, without unity, as occasion needs them, 
and without the pastor ever considering the lactMUB of his 
teaching; when, in consequence of this disorder and careless- 
ness which lets instruction take its chance in a parish, it hap- 
pens that certain subjects are repeated to satiety so as to 
weary the hearers, while others, no less important, are never or 
hardly ever treated; when, in a word, sermons full of careful 
development and oratorical amplification neglect exposition, 
properly so called-— i.^., simple, clear, and connected exposi- 
tion of Christian doctrine — ^and leaves it absent again and 
again, so that the little that can come here and there by 
chjince of teaching, properly so called, in the discourse, is 
so cut, broken, divided, and swamped and lost in the depths 
and under the waves of oratory that the hearers do not even 
notice it. ... I stop here, gentlemen; but you understand 


me, and you recognize by these traits the preaching that is 
not instructive,'* 

Archibshop F^elon (^^Dialogues sur I'Eloquenee'') em- 
phasizes the same point: ^I have often remarked that there 
is no art or science in the world which its professors do not 
touch in a correct manner, methodically and on fixed principles. 
It is only religion which is not taught in this way to the faith- 
ful. There is given to them in childhood a little dry Cate- 
chism, which they learn by heart without understanding the 
sense of it, and afterward they have no more instruction than 
vague and detached sermons. I wish that Christians might be 
taught the first elements of religion, and then be led in dut 
order to the greater mysteries.*' 

m. — ^RuLss Foa Instbugtiok 

1. Stxtdt the Abt of Teaching. — Study the science and 
art of teaching. If you cannot take your diploma in pedagogy, 
at least read many of the books on teaclung which are rec- 
ommended for this. 

2. Leaen Method. — ^Attend the best day-schools in the 
district, and learn all you can from trained teachers and their 

S. Catechize. — ^Young priests should be trained to preach 
instructively by being entrusted with the catechism of the 
young. If this catechism is undertaken with a great enthu- 
siasm to make it a perfect work, with most careful preparation 
and severe self-criticism and correction of methods, it will 
accustom a preacher to be accurate and precise in his defini- 
tions and phraseology, to be clear in his explanations, and apt 
in illustration. It will also store his memory and his notebooks 
with a large reserve of carefully planned instruction. A skilled 
catechist is generally a clear and effective preacher. 

4. Clarity. — ^Instruction is to illuminate souls with the 
Light of the World, as the sun's rays penetrate a crystal. 
For this it is essential that the idea shall be clear, neat, and 
precise in your own mind. ^^Being ministers of light, you 
ought, then, to enlighten by your word." But if the word is 
only vaguely undefined in your own mind, untidily conceived, 
without precision of thought or neatness of phrase, you will 


only emit a fog on an abneady bewildered world. Be dear, and 
you will make others clear. 

5. STq^uLATioK. — ^A true teacher never desires to impose 
his own mind and will upon those whom he teaches; he will 
shrink from such a thing as both useless and wrong. It is 
useless because the will imposed does not build up charactery 
or leave any permanent impression for good on the person 
taught. To impose one's mind and will on others is like making 
a dint with your finger in a lump of dough. It fills up when 
your finger is withdrawn. A true teacher worships freedom 
and personality, which are the nature of God. He aims at 
liberating personality into perfect freedom. So he will always 
shrink from imposing his own thought or will on others, and 
will strive only to stimulate their thoughts, and to liberate their 
wills. He will teach in such a way as to awaken interest and 
curiosity, a desire to know more. He will be leaven in the 
lump, eagerly hoping for a movement of the hearer's mind 
responsive to the truth. He will be sufficiently humble not 
to desire the mere reflection of his own mind as in a looking- 
glass, because he will recognize that no single mind can grasp 
all truth. He will be thankful if his hearers see what he sees ; 
and his thankfulness will be increased if each hearer can add 
something to his vision. The instructional part of the sermon 
will have been well done if on leaving church each one thinks 
that the preacher has expressed his own thought, and desires 
to learn more on the subject. The difference between a good 
and bad teacher is that the bad teacher wants the pupil to 
think his thoughts, and the good teacher wants him to think 
God's thoughts; the bad teacher values mere sulnnission, the 
good values independent vitality ; the bad teacher tries to sat- 
isfy the desire to know, the good tries to stimulate it. God 
alone can satiify the soul. The preacher's task is to stimulate 
a hunger and thirst for righteousness. 

6. Rbpxtition. — ^In teaching Englishmen, who have a 
natural dislike for a new idea, and who are, on the whole, slow 
at grasping an idea, it is necessary to present the same idea 
in varied repetition. When they hear it for the first time it 
makes practically no impression on their mind unless it hap- 
pens to be in harmony with their own latest thought or interest. 
If it be repeated in tiie same form it stimulates a stolid resist- 
ance — ^'^We've heard that before." But if it be repeated in 


varied form, in definition, refutaticm of opposite, illiutratioii, 
anecdote, and, above all, by questiouB, the mind will alowlj 
unfold to embrace it and give it a permanent place in the heart 
of the hearer* 

7. ScHXMxa. — Some persons can use schemes in teaching, 
and, if one is their master and not their slave, they may be 
used with profit, as they promote orderliness in arrangemoit. 
For example, in teaching any dogma, which in itself is the 
formulation of experience, we may teach it under such scheme 
as this: 

(1) The dogma: its definition. 

(5) Its history. 

(8) The errors opposed to it. 

(4) Their condemnation by the Church. 

(6) The moral consequences or implications of the 

dogma; for creed must always work out into 

Scheme for teaching about a sacrament: 

(1) Its nature. 

{ft) Its institution and history. 

(8) Its matter and form. 

(4) Its minister. 

(6) Its purpose or effect. 

(6) When, where, and how it should be administered. 

(7) The conditions required for its reception. 

8. Choice of Idsas. — ^The one supreme rule in the choice 
and arrangement of ideas for good teaching is to proceed 
from the known to the unknown, from that which the hearer 
believes to be certain to that about the truth of which he is 
not so assured. Therefore: 

(1) Consider your people's mind. What have they with 

which you can begin? 

(2) Use the religious knowledge (if any) which people 

have learned in their childhood, and which forms 
the basis of presuppositions in their mentality. 

(8) Draw your illustrations from those things with 

which they are familiar. 


Consider the points on a railway line. At first they run 
along with the original lines, and then they gradually deviate 
nntil they have persuaded the train to run on quite different 
lines, while the passengers scarcely notice the difference. 

9. The Usb of Amplifications. — ^Amplifications are used 
in instructi<m to give an idea its clearness, to identify the 
thing unknown with the thing known, to expose the details 
and every aspect of the subject. They will be treated fuUy 
later on. 

10. NAjiaATiON AND EXPLANATION. — ^As the reasoning or 
argumentation will be based on the opening instruction, it is 
important that the narration should have the qualities admir- 
ably described by Blair for an advocate pleading before a 
judge: ^^To be clear and dutinct, to be probable, and to be 
concise^ are the qualities which critics chiefly require in narra- 
tion, each of which carries sufficiently the evidence of its im- 
portance. Distinctness belongs to the whole train of the dis- 
course, but is especially requisite in narration, which ought to 
throw light on all that follows. A fact or a single circum- 
stance left in obscurity and misapprehended by the judge may 
destroy the effect of eJl the argument and reasoning which the 
speaker employs. If his narration be not probable the judge 
will not regard it, and if it be tedious and diffuse he will be 
tired of it and forget it.'* 


Persuasion may be described as the art of influencing the 
win In order that an idea may influence the will of another, 
the first requisite is that it shall be clearly presented to that 
person's mind so that he can perceive it. This is the work of 
iNBTaiTCTiON. Tlien the idea or object thus presented to him 
must appear desirable, or he will not strive after it. This is 
the woric of Descuiption, which is meant to reveal its beauty 
or desirability. This will be dealt with under the heading of 
Rhetoric. Then the mind of the hearer must be convinced, not 
only that the object is desirable, but also that the means sug- 
gested are likely to attain it«^ To convince the mind is the 
work of DiAiACTic or Aboitmentation. There is a further 
process in moving the will, the inflaming of passion or emotion. 


This is the work of Exhortation. I repeat here what has 
already been quoted from Campbell's ^'Philosophy of Rhetoric." 
^^All the ends of speaking are reducible to four: every speech 
being intended to enlighten the understanding, to please the 
imagination, to move the passions, or to influence the will'' 
(p. 18). ''When a speaker addresseth himself to the under- 
standing he proposes the instruction of his hearers, and that 
either by explaining some doctrine unknown or not distinctly 
comprehended by them, or by proving some position disbelieved 
or doubted by them. In other words, he proposes either to 
dispel ignorance or to vanquish error. In the one his aim 
is their information, in the other their conviction. Accord- 
ingly, the predominant quality of the former is perspicuity, of 
the latter argument. By that we are made to know, by this to 
believe" (p. 26). Conviction aiFects the understanding only, 
persuasion the will and the practice. It is the business of the 
philosopher to convince me of truth; it is the business of the 
orator to persuade me to act in accordance with it. 

But though these various activities of oratory are described 
tuider different headings for instructional purposes, we must 
repeat that they are often concurrent processes which inter- 
penetrate one another. 


The Christian religion is rational through and through. 
But this does not imply that it is based on logic. For it 
appeals to something far more fundamental than logic: it ap- 
peals to life. Life, in this sense, is the sum total of all experi- 
ence. Logic is the analysis of experience. Now, we are only 
able to analyze a small part of our experience, that which at 
any time comes up into consciousness ; and the method of our 
analysis, while it is the best that we can do, is often imperfect 
and sometimes erroneous. Modem psychology teaches us that 
the great impulses which move our life, and out of which we 
weave our souls and form our characters, are primary instincts. 

The soul coming from the bosom of God into the incarnate 
life which, by means of the body, makes him one with the world 
of matter, may be likened to a sailor adrift in an open boat 
who lands on a desert island in the Pacific Ocean. Necessity 
everywhere conditions his freedom without destroying it. The 


island gives him his heredity and environment. He is free to 
cultivate it or to neglect to do so. He is free to decide which 
natural qualities he will encourage to their full development, 
and which he will repress or try to change or eradicate. The 
island itself is only a mountain top which is raised a little 
ahove the level of the sea. It looks as though it lay on the 
waters detached from all other islands and continents. But if 
you trace it down you find that it is a lofty summit of a moun- 
tain range which is a part of a vast submerged continent. 
From this continent it draws its main characteristics, its geo- 
logical strata, its material for the formation of a soil, its min- 
eral wealth. From time to time the whole island is shaken up 
by the uprush of explosive forces, and torrents of burning 
lava pour themselves forth. But the normal action of forces 
other than those derived from the submerged continent are 
always at work on the surface. The sunshine brings light and 
heat from another world, the rock-splitting frost and thaw, 
the ceaseless action of innumerable little waves, the gentle 
breeze and the raging storm, the rain, and birds, and the 
industry of men all help to form a soil and a foliage, which 
man can cultivate or neglect. 

Now the mountain top which forms the island may be likened 
to our conscious life, the little cabbage patch which man culti- 
vates is our intellectual life; the deep roots of the island's 
foundation to our life of instinct, our subconscious life. We 
may, within certain limits, intellectualize or cultivate the 
greater part of our conscious life; we may study the nature 
of the uprush of our instincts, and learn how to guide and 
direct their energies into the most fruitful channels, and bend 
their forces to the fulfillment of our will. We can make the 
wind and water turn our wheels, and the electricity become 
our slave. 

But the point to be emphasized here is that man's reason- 
able nature is something far larger and more fundamental than 
his reasonings. His '^reason" is the sum total of his experi- 
ence. His "reasonings" is that part of his experience which 
he has succeeded, more or less accurately, in analyzing and 
formulating* and bringinflr under the categories of his logical 
activities. This varies infinitely in different persons and ages. 
A preacher has to form some opinion as to the degree of intel- 
lectualization of which his audience is capable before he decide 


on the kind and nature of the arguments suitable, and how far 
he should appeal to their instincts or to their intelligence. 

II. — ^P&EsupposrriONs 

His first question must be: **What, on the whole, are the 
presuppositions in the minds of the majority of the people 
to whom I shall speak? With what ideas, standards, values, 
axioms may we start ?** 

It is to be noted that it is impossible to reason at all with- 
out making four acts of faith. The sternest rationalist and 
the most frigid scientist, if he wants to reason at all, must 
believe that there is a worid outside his own mind, that it is 
an intelligible world, that his senses report truly about it, 
and that he is a rational being, an assumption made by every 
lunatic in every asylum. Each one of these assumptions can 
be shown to be based on faith, not on demonstration, a faith 
in some cases not justified. It is a moral disaster when a man's 
power of credence is exhausted in a fervent belief in himself. 
If you really consider yourself thoughtfully for some time you 
will come to see that the mysteries which cluster round personal 
identity are as great as those mysteries of light which enshrine 
the ever-blessed Trinity. We shall not hesitate, then, to take 
certain presuppositions for granted, as axioms of thought, or 
the truth of our nature, or as things held in common by most 
reasonable persons, to whom we at the moment are speaking. 
If you try to think without such axioms your whole life will 
be frittered away in interminable discussions, as to why 
truth should be preferred to falsehood, or right to wrong. We 
must decide our own presuppositions or fundamental basis of 
thought if we want to think at all. 

Was not this our Lord's method? He assumes as a point 
about which He never argues, never even discusses the existence 
and character of God the Father, and Ris claim on our alle- 
giance. He assumes His own right and ability to reveal the 
Father. He never apologizes for a dogmatism which corrects 
all former revelation, and speaks with authority, not as the 
scribes. He believes in the goodness of man, in the healthy con- 
science to which His teaching is addressed, to God's image in 
man which is man's glory, to that reason in man which has con- 
scious affinity with the good, the beautiful, and the true. He 
seldom argues. He stimulates by questions. He illustrates by 


parables, which make people think. He asserts. He appeals 
to the conscience. He chcdlenges. He takes whut they have to 
begin with, a belief in God, a belief in the Messiah, a belief that 
they belong to God, that He is a righteous God, and a belief in 
goodness. He corrects, purifies, and unifies these beliefs into 
a unity of love. Everywhere His appeal is to reason, not to 
reasonings, to man's moral consciousness, not to man's imper- 
fect intellectualizations. 

Our first task, then, is to realize the presuppositions on 
which, in any particular audience, we can count. They will 
begin with the universals: man's conscience; that God is good 
and that God is love ; that a man ought to do the right, and 
to welcome the truth when he sees it; that a man ought to be 
honest, truthful, and just, and to love his neighbor as him- 
self. In most congregations in the Church we may assume that 
our Lord Jesus Christ is recognized as the Son of God, and 
that He speaks with the authority of God, and that His ex- 
ample is binding on us all. In some congregations, where the 
people are instructed in the Catholic Faith, the tradition or 
rule of the Catholic Church carries much weight ; in others the 
appeal to the Bible. 

But preachers in the future cannot presume in their audi- 
ence a knowledge of the Bible, for this machine-made genera- 
tion has grown up on the newspaper. These presuppositions 
are probably valid for most parts of England, especially in 
Lancashire and the South ; but in the other manufacturing dis- 
tricts the more thoughtful, energetic, and earnest persons will 
often be men who question Church and Bible and all forms of 
traditional belief and practice, in whom the appeal must be to 
reason and conscience. Preachers ought to remember that a 
very large number of the young men and women in England 
are, from their childhood upward, receiving a scientific educa- 
tion, and that a large part of the industrial population are 
skilled workers engaged in the constant employment of their 
brains as well as their hands.^ The recollection of this does 
not suggest that we ought to acconmiodate our preaching to 
the scientific spirit, or incorporate the miserable jargon of 
science into our pulpit utterances. Science is an imperfect 
method of dealing with the phenomenal world, imperfect be- 

* In a retreat for laymen which I recently conducted at Mirfleld, about 
70 per cent, of the retreatants were engaged in some form of engineering. 


cause it works by abstraction, and knows nothing of valaes. 
But it suggests that we must be careful and accurate in the 
statement of our arguments, and that in the selection of the 
best arguments we should not neglect the habitual mode of 
thouj^t in which our most thoughtful hearers are accustomed 
to think* The presuppositions of a man who habitually thinks 
in terms of evolution are obviously diiFerent from those of a 
man who still thinks of God in the terms of deism, as one who 
is entirely separate from His creation, with which He <Mily 
occasionally '^interferes." This absurd mistake about God is 
expressed in Professor W. McDougaD's '^Social Psychology*' 
(p. 8S0). 


1. In the selection of arguments, consider first what are 
the presuppositions in the minds of those who will listen to 
you. Do not address your arguments to those who are not 
there. The principles, or starting point, of an argument must 
be such as your hearers will readily admit. 

2. Never use an argument unless you believe it to be true 
and valid. 

8. Do not overload your sermon with all possible argu- 
ments on the subject, but select the best and most forcible. 

4. Choose not those which are best in themselves, but those 
which are best relatively to the audience. 

6. Ask yourself, *'If someone else used these arguments in 
conversation would they convince me?" Massillon says: 
^'When I have to preach a sermon I imagine that someone has 
consulted me on a matter of very grave importance on which 
he and I do not agree. I apply, therefore, all the powers of 
my intellect and of my heart to convince and to persuade him ; 
I press him, I exhort him, I do not leave him until I have fairly 
and completely won him to my side." 

6. Ask yourself, ^'If I were debating this in public what 
would my opponent say in answer? What objections would 
he raise? Are there any weak spots on which he could fasten?" 

7. When you have chosen your arguments, consider '^How 
can I present this argument in its most forcible form? Will 
my hearers understand it? Will they accept it as valid? Will 
it convince them? Will they apply it rightly? How can I 
illustrate it so as to let them see its working value?" 


rV. — Methods of Abgumsntation 

The methods of arj^ment suitable for sermons are : 

1. Deduction, the art of deducin|3^, inferring, or gather- 
ing by reasoning from principles or established data; a con- 
clusion drawn from pronlses. Since the Christian religion is 
a revelation, not merely a discovery, this is a legitimate method. 
Our Lord uses it frequently — i.^., in all arguments drawn from 
God's nature. S. Matt. xxii. S2: ^^God is not the God of the 
dead, but of the living," based on the validity of the Scrip- 
tures. This method often takes the form of syllogisms. It 
is suited to dogmatic teaching, when the authority of the 
Church and Bible is recognized. Its weakness is that of a 
chain; if either premise is questioned or doubted the force of 
the argument is weakened or destroyed. 

2. Induction, a generalization from experience ; the proc- 
ess by which we conclude that what is true of certain indi- 
viduals of a class is true of the whole class. As this argument 
from experience is the method by which modem science has 
been built up, it is generally more acceptable to the present 
phase of the modem mind. Our Lord uses it frequently in 
appealing to the experience of His hearers. S. Matt. vii. 9: 
**vVliat man is there of you, who, if his son shall ask him for a 
loaf?'' etc. 

S. ANAI.0OT, the transference of a truth on one plane to 
apply it on another parallel plane, a ''resemblance of ratios," 
as when our Lord transfers thoughts about fatherhood in man 
to suggest truths about God (S. Matt. vii. 11), or, ''Consider 
the lilies of the field" (S. Matt. vi. 98). 


1, Begin an argument with an appeal to what the hearers 
already know, and to whieh they heartily assent. First that 
which is natural, then that which is spiritual. If you walk a 
little way with them they will be more likely to walk a long 
way with you, 

2. Avoid blending arguments together in confusion. All 
arguments are used to prove one of three things: that some- 
thing is true, that it is morally right or fit, that it is profitable 
or good. The appeal is to truth, duty, or interest. 


3. Arguments appealing to the lower self-regarding im- 
pulses should be placed earlier in the sermon than those which 
appeal to the higher impulses. Otherwise you may uninten- 
tionally express a contempt for your hearers. To say, *^Do 
this because it is not only right, but also prudent to do it,'' 
is an insult. To say, ^^This is prudent, but you must do it 
because it is right," is a challenge to courageous virtue. 

4. In one method, arguments may be arranged in a chain, 
each depending on the one before. But the strength of a chain 
is that of its weakest link. It is generally a stronger method 
to arrange them by the method of concentration, starting from 
the circumference of men's minds, and each coming to the same 
point, so that blow after blow on the same point gradually 
works conviction. 

5. Arguments from inference which can only establish a 
certain degree of probability become strong when bound to- 
gether. You can easily break a single walking stick, but if 
a dozen are bound together no human strength can break 

6. If arguments are clear and convincing, they should be 
developed fully; if useful but inconclusive, they should be 
mentioned early in the discourse, or referred to in a passing 

7. All arguments should be arranged on the principle of 
the climax, each step marking a more convincing development, 
a crescendo which works up to the final conviction. Unless 
the strongest argument comes last, whatever follows it will 
only weaken its effect. 

VI. — Amplifications 

It is only in speaking to a very exceptional or highly spe- 
cialized audience that it is sufficient to state an argument 
briefly. If you are arguing about law with a barrister, or 
about health with a doctor, or gain with a merchant, the brief- 
est reference to the material points of the argument is suffi- 
cient ; their minds readily grasp your meaning and foresee the 
conclusion, because they are so familiar with the subject or 
with its opposite. Often a shorthand symbol of the argument 
is enough for its appreciation? Why? Because the ground 
has been traversed often before. When your words fall upon 


the ear and are conveyed to the mind they liberate a thousand 
associations of the same or similar arguments which have been 
heard before, so that each step in the argument finds a channel 
already worn for it in the mind, and has not to make a place 
for itself, just as a drop of water trickling painfully down a 
frosted window-pane has to fight each step of the way to con- 
Tert frigid and unappreciative particles until it comes to the 
channel worn by another drop, when it rushes unhindered to 
its conclusion. 

Now, inexperienced preachers constantly forget that, on 
certain subjects such as theology, philosophy, history, dog- 
matics, etc*, they are, or ought to be, specialists, speaking to 
persons the vast majority of whom know nothing whaterer of 
the technique of these branches of knowledge, and rery little 
of the most elementary truths on these subjects. When, on 
one of my return voyages from India on a troopship, I grew 
weary of hearing crude and silly complaints from the officers 
about the Church and the clergy, I took advantage of this uni- 
versal ignorance by publicly announcing that in the future I 
should not listen to any complaint about the Church from any 
officer who could not say his Catechism ! One colonel resisted ; 
but when I asked him to say the '^Desire" he collapsed ; and I 
pointed out that if he did not even know what he ought to 
desire he must not blame the Church for not satisfying this 
desire. Panic spread. There were no more complaints about 
the Church. The rest of the voyage was spent in secret and 
furtive perusals of the Catechism from concealed Prayer- 
Books, and in wholesome meditation on their own sins and 
defects instead of the defects of the clergy. The officers knew 
that if they passed the Catechism test the next question would 
be, ''Did you spend your Ember-days in fasting and prayer 
for the clergy ?'' and began to realize that churchmen have 
duties as well as rights ! 

But this is an amplification. Let us return to the point. 
The point is that the preacher is a specialist speaking to 
persons who are not so. Therefore, arguments which may 
seem plain and simple to the preacher in his study need to be 
amplified, expanded, illustrated, and applied when used in the 
pulpit if they are to convince. 

Rules fob Ahplificatioks. — 1. Amplifications should 


never be used except to make a discourse more clear, more solid, 
more beautiful, and more effective. 

5. Their chief use is to clarify or extend the meaning. 

3. But there is a psychological reason which justifies an- 
other use. It is that the mind of a hearer gets tired by a too 
long strain of the attention to reasoning, so that a little 
^^stand easy" may be useful while the speaker describes some 
quite familiar scene or event before bending the attention 
again on argument. 

4. They should meet every reasonable objection of an 
opponent, or of prejudice in the hearer's own mind. 

6. They may be developed by Compausoks, as when the 
slavery of Israel in Egypt is compared to the slavery of sin. 
By ExAMPUBs, as when patience is illustrated by references to 
Job or S. Paul in prison. By CiKcnMSTANCES, as when you 
expand a thought by the analysis of the situation — €,g.^ the 
dying thief on the cross. The end of a worldly life. See his 
tongue parched for whose sake he had indulged in the pleas- 
ures of sin, his hand nailed which had not been restrained by 
honesty, etc. 

6. Amplifications should be strictly subordinated to their 
purpose — 1.^., to allow a thought with its full extension to sink 
well into the mind. If prolonged beyond this the attention 

Vn. — ^Refutation 

The purpose of refutation is to expose a falsehood, to 
correct an error, to remove an obstacle, or to destroy an 
enemy. TTie manner of dealing with the subject will be de- 
cided by the end you have in view. If you are dealing with the 
surface error which is simply a misunderstanding, and which 
does not spring from any deep root of false principle, the best 
refutation is to place it side by side with the truth. For ex- 
ample, the Church is often accused of being reactionary and 
the enemy of progress by teaching persons to be content with 
"that state of life to which it "han pleased God to call them.*' 
The refutation will be, with much parade, to ask the people to 
find the passage in their Prayer-Book and to find it yourself 
in the largest Prayer-Book available (because to some minds 
the size of the Prayer-Book seems to add to the weight of the 


argument), and to read out Tery slowly the real word "to 
which it $hM please God to call them." This mistake, and it 
is a very common one, must be fully exploited by many ampli- 
fications. "What are we to say to such an opponent? He 
takes the Tery words in which the Church lays down a pri!n- 
ciple of progress. He alters, no doubt unintentionally, 
these words in a vital point, so as entirely to reverse 
their meaning, and then he reproaches the Church for teaching 
the exact contrary of what she has always taught. On this 
point we are able to test his statement, and every one who can 
read can see that it is absolutely untrue. What reliance, then, 
can we place on his other statements which we cannot test? 
If he is so ignorant or careless as to misquote a document, 
which is in every one's hands, and to which he can easily refer 
for verification, is he likely to be trustworthy in those ipatters 
in which verification is more difficult?'' 

1. Youa Aim. — ^In refutation we must keep our purpose 
well in mind, or we may win a victory and lose a soul. The 
error we want to correct is not in the air, it is in someone's 
heart or mind, and you want to cure it with as little pain as 
possible. Let us begin by asking, "What is the purpose in 
refutation?" Do you want to crush an opponent or to con- 
vert him; to triumph over an enemy or to win a friend? Do 
you want to capture an intellectual position or to captivate an 
immortal soul? Your aim will surely be to glorify God by 
the salvation of a soul from error. Pulpit refutation will 
differ, then, from some other forms of oratory in the intense 
desire not to hurt an adversary, to disarm him without wound- 
ing him, to change his mind in so gentle a manner that he will 
think he has changed it himself. 

2. Classification. — ^The second point is to classify error 
to the extent of distinguishing its importance and its virulence. 
Is this error sufficiently important and widespread to be 
treated in public, or is it best dealt with in private? Is it a 
deep-rooted wrong principle, or only a surface mistake? Does 
it seriously affect tike moral life, or is it merely an intellectual 
pose, without any effect on character? Is it an isolated mis- 
understanding, or is it one manifestation of a deep-seated dis- 
ease of sin, or of a wrong attitude toward God? Is it held 
in good faith, or is it an excuse for evading some duty? Is 


It one of a group of errors which all apring from the same 

8. EzAiOKATiON OF OBJECTIONS. — ^In modem warfare 
the utmost care is taken to know exhaustively the thoughts, 
words, and deeds of the enemy, his ultimate aim, his immediate 
intention, his secret councils, the orders he issues, whether these 
are true orders, or ^^blinds" which will be countermanded at 
the last moment; the disposition of his forces, which attacks 
are feints and which are meant to be pushed home; his lines of 
communication, and power to transfer troops from one point 
to another; his supplies of food and ammunition, the morale of 
his troops, the public opinion of his country, etc. No detail 
is neglected which may help to inform us of the probable in- 
tention of the enemy. Spies steal, or copy, his most secret 
documents, sit at his most confidential councils, men in cap- 
tive balloons watch his every movement, aeroplanes photo- 
graph his latest dispositions. The intelligence department or 
secret service is one of the most important in the army. The 
full development of this in theology belongs to a}X)logetic, 
which must be treated separately. But it is an important part 
of refutation to know as fully as possible the strength and 
weakness of every objection to the Christian Faith and ethic, 
and the main lines of the attack upon them. So, before refut- 
ing an objection, we must examine it carefully and thoroughly. 

What element of truth is there in the objection? What are 
its strongest and its weakest points? Does the error lie in a 
false principle, or in an unconscious presumption in the mind, 
or in a wrong definition of the terms? Is the root of the ob- 
jection in the head, or in the heart, in a process of reasoning, 
or in an unformulated impulse or instinct? Will it be best to 
attack the terms of an objection, or the principle on which it 
is based? 

If, for instance, you desire to refute the poisonous advo- 
cacy of what is caUed *^free love," you can begin by examining 
the terms. What is freedom? Is it the absence of all re- 
straint? Is the free-thinker free to think that to be true which 
we know to be false? If he is thus free to think whatever he 
likes, to think without any regard to correspondence with real- 
ity, is not the real home of free thought to be found in a lun- 
atic asylum? Or love. What is love? Is it the same as lust? 




If not, what distinguishes them? Is action most free when 
most unrestrained? If so, is a man with S. Vitus's dance, each 
of whose limbs act independently of every other, more free than 
a man whose limbs are under the control of a common pur- 
pose? etc. 

Or, instead of attacking the terms, you can attack the false 
principle on which the error rests — ^the idea that liberty is 
freedom to do what you like in disregard of others, or that 
impulses left to themselves will produce the best ethical results. 

Again, ask, *^Do we mean the same thing by the terms 
used?" — e.g.^ *^the Church" means one thing to a person who 
regards it as a voluntary and accidental association of those 
who agree to worship in common, and an entirely different 
thing to a man who believes it to be the divindy constituted 
Fellowship which our Lord has commissioned to teach in His 

4. Rules voa Refcttation. — (i.) Consider what difficul- 
ties or objections would be urged against your argument if it 
were put forward in private conversation, or in a puUic debate ; 
which and how many of these can be profitably met in the time 
at your disposal. 

(ii.) Will they be best met by direct attack, or by a flank 
attack on the principles which lie behind them? by an analysis 
of their terms, or by a comparison with the truth? by a mani- 
festation of their weakness, or by an attack on their strength? 
by an application which will show their absurdity, or by a cor- 
rection which will bring them into harmony with the truth? 

(iii.) State an opponent's case as fully, fairly, and 
frankly as he could state it himsdf. Righteousness and jus- 
tice demand this, and the chivalry of the pulpit imposed on 
us by the fact that an opponent has no opportunity of reply. 
Also, because your object is truth and goodness, and these can- 
not be promoted by false or unfair means. If you cannot ade- 
quately answer an objection thus honestly stated, then don't 
touch on it at all. If you make full allowance for such truth 
as there may be in an objection, and state it fairly, you wiD 
have half won your opponent, or, at least, won half of him, 
his heart, if not his head. He will trust you when you state 
the other side. It is like the turn of the wrist by which one's 
rapier encircles an adversary's, and disarms him. 


(iv.) Do not attack the opponent's position along the 
whole of the line; concentrate on its weakest points. 

(v.) Do not yield to the controversial spirit which lores 
arguing for argument's sake; a dialectical victory may mean 
a spiritual defeat. If you merely make an opponent look ridic- 
ulous you wound him; if you are modest and courteous you 
win him. Be modest. Nothing is more offensive to sincere, 
thoughtful, and educated men than the loud cocksureness of the 

(vi.) The dissolvent method is used when a man is argn« 
ing from false assumptions — ^.^., arguments against the Resur- 
rection of our Lord are often based on the assumption that 
we really know what matter is. We may attack this suhcon** 
scions presumption by questions. What is the right definition 
of matter? Do we know its ultimate analysis? Is there a 
single man of science who will venture to say that he knows 
the ultimate nature of matter? What is a body? What is 
the force which holds these chemicals together? We may caU 
it by a name, but do we know its nature? Can we define its 
essence, or merely observe its activities? Under such ques- 
tionings a prejudgment may be gradually dissolved and an 
obstacle to conviction removed. 

(vii.) The courteous and gentle method of trying to cor- 
rect an error, or to remove an obstacle applies chiefly to those 
who err in good faith, from misunderstanding or ignorance. 
These cases may yield to treatment — ^X-rays, to expose the 
fallacy in the light of the truth ; distraction, to take a patient's 
mind away from the disease; wholesome food for thought, to 
tonic the right judgment, which is the best cure for error, the 
unperceived transition by which the skilled doctor shifts the 
controversy from the head to the heart. For, as a rule, our 
head is our weakest point. Man's moral judgments are gen- 
erally much sounder than his intellectual conclusions ; and it is 
to the whole personality that our Lord makes His appeal. 

But, occasionally, surgery must be used to cut out the very 
root of some poisonous false teaching, especially when it im- 
mediately afl'ects the moral life. Surgical refutation must be 
decisive, clean-cut, swift, and thorough; never content to 
remove a symptom, but always careful thoroughly to remove 
the roots. TTie dentist's forceps, by which full pressure is 


applied at one place to two converging pincers which combine 
to jsqueeze out the root that would not yield to a direct pull» 
may illustrate the advantage of a twofold refutation drawn 
from the natures of God and man, from revelation and c<mi- 
science, with which we may meet dcuigerous moral fallacies. 

(viii.) Many objections to the Faith are due to a false 
antithesis which must be detected and exposed. It is, for in- 
stance, a false antithesis to oppose a spiritual and a sacra- 
mental expression of religion. Spiritual is strictly opposed to 
non-spiritual, sacramental to non-sacramental. It is easy to 
show that the sacramental is far more spiritual than a non- 
sacramental religion, because the sacramental uplifts the ma- 
terial universe on to the plane of the spiritual, penetrates and 
dominates matter, to become a burning bush, a vehicle of reve- 
lation, and a means of grace ; while the non-sacramental merely 
ignores matter, and fails to consecrate it. So with creed and 
conduct. They are not antithetical, but interpenetrating. 
Objection : I prefer a man who does what is right to one who 
believes what is true.'* Atuwer: *'A man's real creed is that 
which expresses itself in his conduct. If the creed he pro- 
fesses wiiii his lips is not expressed in his conduct it shows that 
he does not really believe it, that it is not his creed.'' 


Da. Bioo : ^^Thx Tmsalb and Bi^essikgs of a Scholak's Lcrx" 
From **The Spirit of Christ in Common Life," p. 18 

*^But now, if the truth is a Person, the chief of all intel- 
lectual dangers must lie in Abstraction. Yet Abstraction is 
the scholar's weapon, the keen-edged tool with which he forces 
his way into the rocky fortresses of knowledge. 

**Aiid so indeed it is the greatest of perils. The habit of 
abstract thought is the ardi' trial out of which flow all kinds 
of aberration. 

^*The student as such i& only half a man. He is a thinking 
machine, and always needs to recall the fact that the logical 
apparatus is not the whole of him. The artist and the poet 
and the saint have their truth as well as the thinker. 

*^Shall we say that the truth of knowledge comes through 
study, but the truth of being through love in action? Love 


fonns character, whfle study disciplines talent, and hence 
Goethe said that ^talent grows best in solitude, but character 
is moulded in the stream of the world.' By these considera- 
tions you may test every ideal that men pursue. The more 
concrete it is the greater will be its truth. But in a university 
the most seductive of all false ideals is that of sdf -culture. 

^^Not in bread alcme, nor in books alone will you find the 
staff of life. Our Saviour is there where living men and 
women need our help. *Thou hast seen thy brother,' says an 
old mystic ; *thou hast seen God.' " 



Undeii the heading of Dialectic we have considered some 
means of convincing a man. Under the head of Rhetoric we 
will now consider the art of persuasion, for conviction is not 
sufficient ; it may not lead to action ; it is often light without 
heat. It is one of the most profound tragedies of human na- 
ure to know the truth and yet to fail to obey it. **For the good 
which I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I 
practice. But if what I would not, that I do, it is no more I 
that do it, but sin which dwelleth in me. I find then the law 
that to me who would do good, evil is present. For I delight in 
the law of God after the inward man : but I see a different law 
in my members warring against the law of my mind, and 
bringing me into captivity under the law of sin which is in 
my members. O wretched man that I am ! who shall deliver me 
out of the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus 
Christ our Lord" (Rom. vii. 19.) There is no better statement 
of a divided personality with which we so often have to deal 
in our efforts to persuade. ^*I see the better, and approve it ; 
I do the worse,'* said Horace. 

I. — The Psychology of Pbesuasion 

1. The Will. — ^Persuasion differs from conviction be- 
cause it tries not merely to convince the understanding, but 
also to move the will. What is the will? Most modem psy- 
chologists deny that it is a separate function of our personal- 
ity. "The new birth,*' says Pratt, "involves the whole man. 
It is, indeed, primarily a moral matter, but that does not 
mean that it is a matter of the ^will* as distinct from the 
emotions or thoughts. Psychology is unable to find any such 
thing as *pure' will. It is simply impossible for the ^divided 



self — ^the man torn between conflicting loves — ^to bring unity 
into his life by merely saying, *6o to now, I choose this set of 
purposes and give up the others.' Long continued determina- 
tion of this sort must indeed have its effect; but before the 
man can really will one set of ends in preference to the other 
he must have already come to love them best. The willing 
involves feeling as part of itself. Before the new ideals come 
to unify and dominate the life they must be accepted and loved ; 
they can subjugate the old purposes and passions only by a 
change in emotional values. This done, ^wilP may r^nforce 
the new ideals by constant control of the attention" (Dr. 
Pratt, ^*The Religious Consciousness," p. 128). 

We may, then, define the will as a desire wh^ch has become 
dominant. A wish is an ineffectual desire. A will is a desire 
which has become a motive. In order that he may persuade, a 
preacher has so to present an object to his hearers that it 
awakens in them a desire strong enough to dominate all con- 
flicting desires, and to give unity to a man's nature. Truth 
is the object of the intellect ; beauty is the object of the heart; 
good is the object of the will. ^^Man never performs an act 
except for the attainment of something which really is, or, 
rightly or wrongly, is conceived to be a good ; something which 
will conduce to his happiness, true or false. Now nothing can 
be an end to me which does not gratify some passion or affec« 
tion in my nature; and, therefore, in order to induce me to 
attain that end you must necessarily appeal to the passion or 
affection which is to be gratified by its attainment. You tdl 
me that such a thing is for my honor, and thus you appeal to 
my pride ; or that it is for my interest, thus appealing to my 
self-love," etc. (Campbell's "Philosophy of Rhetoric"). 

2. Instincts and Emotions. — ^Psychology is still in its 
boisterous and self-confident childhood, and we cannot yet place 
much reliance oa some of its most dogmatic utterances. It 
cannot yet be considered a science, in spite of its insist^it 
claims, because it cannot define its terms with any degree of 
unanimity. It has to a full extent the chief defect of a science, 
in that it works by the method of abstraction, creating it^ own 
scheme of the universe, and deliberately ignoring whatever 
would embarrass its investigations. Dr. Pratt writes : "Hence 
it seems best to take the word science in a larger, and, I con- 



fesSy a looser way, so as to cover any systematic description of 
the verifiable facts of human experience. This does not mean 
that the aim of prediction is given up, but only the pretence 
of a perfectly exact and absolutely definite prediction. These 
will still be the ideal and the limit' of all science, and different 
sciences will differ in the degree to which they approximate to 
those ideals. If this is admitted, then psychology is a genu- 
ine, though not a very exact, science. Its aim wiU be to de- 
scribe mental processes'' (p. 29). *^And for psychology, or 
any science, to admit that there are any factis incapable of 
being explained, incapable of being regularly connected with 
the other facts of experience, would be a surrender of its fim- 
damental presuppositions. For its own protection science 
must act a$ if this view of the supernatural and its interrup- 
tions of the natural were false. It cannot take cognizance of 
interruptions" (p. 88). 

We need not endorse the sweeping condemnation of Benja- 
min Kidd, in his ^^Science of Power," p. 117 : ^^AU this system 
of Western knowledge is passing to the rubbish heap of time as 
the science of civilization." But it is well to receive the most 
dogmatic assertions of psychologists with scientific caution- 
Professor McDougall, in his ^^Social Psychology," defines 
instinct as ^^an inherited or innate psycho-physical disposition 
which determines its possessor to perceive and to pay atten- 
tion to objects of a certain class, to experience an emotional 
excitement of a particular quality upon perceiving such an 
object, and to act in regard to it in a particular manner, or 
at least to experience an impulse to such action" (p. 29). He 
tabulates the primary instincts with their accompanying emo- 
tions as follows: Tlie instinct of flight and the emotion of 
fear; repulsion and disgust; curiosity and wonder; pugnacity 
and anger; self-abasement and subjection; self-assertion and 
elation ; the parental instinct and the tender emotion, together 
with the reproductive, gregarious, acquisitive, and construc- 
tive instincts. 

8. The Mental Peocess. — ^The process of a soul's activi- 
ties may thus be briefly sketched: 

(i.) Sensation. — ^All contact of the soul with the external 
universe begins with sensation at the nerve ends. 

(ii.) Perception. — ^These sensations, when communicated 


to the brain, are called primary presentations — e.g,^ a sound ift 

(iii.) Imagination or Ideation. — ^These sounds affect the 
ima^nation and fonn an image or idea in the brain. The 
sound takes the form of a blow. This is a secondary presen- 

(iv.) Rewini$cence or Memory. — ^The brain (or is it, as 
Bergson contends, the mindP) is already stored with the record 
of other similar sounds, and memory enables one to surround 
this image with associated images, to compare them, and to 
reflect on them. The association of ideas and reflection tells us 
that the sensations which caused or preceded the image were 
due to a blow of iron on iron, that this double blow is a con- 
ventional sacrament, a sign made by custom and agreemoit, 
which suggests the visit of a postman bringing letters, or cir* 
culars, or bills. 

(v.) Feeling. — ^From the first sensation comes other sen- 
sations, feelings of pleasure or pain. 

(vi.) The Effect of Peeling. — ^These secondary feelings of 
pleasure or pain may cause a whole series of emotions or ac- 
tions. They may awaken curiosity, fear, hope, love, anger, or 

(vii.) Attention. — ^Desire to which one attaids, into idiich 
a man puts his personality, becomes a will ; and this will, when 
it is dominant, becomes a motive — i.e.^ that which moves to 

4. Motive. — It seems true to say that man can only act 
on his strongest desire. The real question for the preacher is. 
What makes a desire dominant? This brings us to the subject 
of attention. ^^Effort of attention is, then, the essential form 
of all volition. And this formulation of the volitional process, 
the holding of an idea at the focus of consciousness by an effort 
of attention, covers every instance of volition" (McDougall, 
^^Social Psychology/' p. S48). Man's freedom lies in this 
effort to attend to this or that desire, to put his personality 
into desire so as to make it a motive. 

A man arrives at a railway station. He finds a dozen elec- 
tric tram-cars starting in a dozen different directions on their 
predetermined course, confined to the rigid lines of destiny ; a 
dozen motor buses, more free to deviate, but fixed in their route 


and destination ; a dozen taxicabs, whose freedom is full ; they 
can go by any route to whatever destination you assign to 
them. All beckon for your custom (at least, in pre*war days 
they did). You can commit yourself to that one to which 
you decide to attend. So the soul of man is surrounded by the 
unsubstantial ghosts of innumerable desires, each of which is 
beckoning to him to give it life. There are the lusts of the 
flesh, the ambitions of the mind, the ghosts of many a virtue, all 
longing to become motives. The man has in the basis of his 
personality the selective power of attention. He can fasten 
his attention on this or tiiat desire until it becomes a motive 
which will move him to action. 

There may be in any man many such desires which have 
become motives ; and to secure a consistent life, a unified per- 
sonality, one of these must become a dominant mqtive which 
rules over and subdues all other motives. Men need to be 
reminded that the purpose of our life on earth is the making 
of the soul. Souls do not arrive here ready-made. We are 
bom a nucleus of personality, made in Grod's image by our 
power to think and to will and to love, inheriting a bundle of 
good and evil tendencies, alive with a dozen inborn instincts, 
hedged in by innumerable necessities, surrounded by boundless 
opportunities. From this bundle of infinite possibilities, all 
of which are in themselves non-moral, we have to weave the 
web of our character. If psychologists deny our freedom, let 
them predict the future of any new-bom baby, instead of 
standing by to watch our glorious experiment, and then, if we 
fail, saying (like a certain class of maiden aunts), ^I told you 
so.** Dr. Rashdall (in his "Theory of Good and Evil,'* vol. ii., 
p. 78) says : "The raw material of virtue and vice is the same 
— desires which in themselves, abstracted from their relation 
to the higher self, are not either moral or immoral, but simply 
non-moral. That is to say, the fundamental problem of social 
psychology is the moralization of the individual by the society 
into which he is bom as a creature in which the non-moral and 
purely egotistic tendencies are so much stronger than any 
altruistic tendencies." Mr. O. K. Chesterton somewhere ex- 
presses the same truth when he says : "Every baby is bom an 
agnostic and a glutton, and becomes less so every day he lives.** 

If this foregoing analysis is true, the preacher's course is 


clear. He must present the object in such a way that the 
mind admires it, the heart desires it, and the will will take 
every means to acquire it. He must reveal Ood and His will to 
the soul in a form so clear, so beautiful, and so attractive as to 
concentrate the soul's attention on Him, to inflame the desire 
for union with Him, and to make the service of God and the 
coming of His kingdom the dominant passion of those who hear 
him. In the hearts of most of his hearers there will be many 
desires in conflict dividing the allegiance of the heart, the de- 
sire for happiness, the lusts of the flesh, the fascination of the 
world, the ambition for place or power or influence, the love 
of money, the engrossing thoughts of business, the love of vir- 
tue, the storehouse of memory, the attraction of Christ, the 
love of social position, human respect, or the fear of men. The 
preacher's task is so to fasten the attention of the hearer on 
the good and the beautiful and the true in God that the whole 
force of his personality flows into the good desire, and makes 
the love of God to become the dominant motive which rules 
his character, and moves his will. 

n. — Obstacles to Pxksuasion 

Before trying to convince men of a truth, or to persuade 
them to an action, it is necessary to discover why they need 
to be persuaded — ^what are the obstacles which hinder them 
from accepting and obeying the message. These may arise 
from the message itself, from the messenger or from the mind 
of the hearer. 

1. MisuKDEBSTANDiNG. — ^Behind deep-rooted opposition to 
the teaching or practice of the Catholic Faith and discipline 
one often flnds some idea drawn from the misinterpretation of 
a text, or from the false teaching of some hereticaJ sect* The 
Calvinistic teaching of an election to damnation is such a slan- 
der on the character of God that good men have abandoned 
Christianity under the impression that this was the teaching 
of the Church. The teaching of the total depravity of man 
and false presentations of the Atonement still linger in the 
background of men's minds, and prove an obstacle to the 
acceptance of the truth. The misuse of the Bible, due to that 
mo«t mischievous doctrine of verbal inspiration, which made 


every statement of equal value as a word of Grod, and which 
obscured the truth of the moral evolution of the race ; the use 
of isolated texts as the basis of some false doctrine ; the teach- 
ing received, or the impression given, by the life in a home 
where those who claim to be Christians misrepresent the life 
of Christ; the arguments of agnostics or atheists heard at 
the works or in the parks, and a thousand other sources of 
error make it certain that when an uninstructed Christian 
attends church he will bring with him in his mind a bundle of 
misunderstandings which will form an obstacle to his percep- 
tion of the truth. 

Remedy. — (i.) Clear teaching, simple and concise, which 
takes notMng for granted, but explains each point with clear 
and easily remembered definition of terms — e.g.^ ^in is any 
failure, or refusal, to do the will of Grod. 

(ii.) Remember to translate every theological term which 
is familiar to you, but probably strange to some in the con- 
gregation, into the language of the {)eople. They may not 
understand the word **atonement," but tiiey will readily un- 
derstand it if you translate it by ^Hhe union or reunion of 
man with God.'' 

(iii.) It is worth while to get at the root of misunder- 
standing by encouraging questions. One devout conununicant 
in Canada was shocked and distressed at the necessary omis- 
sion of the last part of the words of administration. It was 
found by careful inquiry that he had always been under the 
impression that these were the words of consecration, and that 
their omission made an invalid communion. When the differ- 
ence between the words of consecration, and the words of ad- 
ministration, was carefully and courteously explained to him 
his misunderstanding was removed. 

J8. Peejubices. — ^Prejudices — judgments formed before- 
hand — ^may be good or bad. 

(A) Good Prejudices^ which ought to be respected, are 
those which arise from past experience of God and of His 
mercies. They are often the protective shield of conservatism, 
which Grod places over the soul of the poor and ignorant to 
preserve them from the too rapid changes of intellectual im- 
patience. Even when they cannot be justified in detail, they 
are often true if taken on a sufficiently large scale; or, at any 


rate, if not true, yet more true than the modem substitute for 
these beliefs which prejudice steadily rejects. Our instincts 
and intuitions are often nearer the truth and more wholesome, 
than our intellectual analyses and conclusions. Anyone can 
▼erify this by an hour's work in a good library. The most 
assured and emphatic assertions in science, philosophy, and the- 
ology to be found in books written fifty years ago are now 
known to be quite untrue. Only about one per cent* of the 
books written on these subjects survive their generation; and 
only about five per cent, of the statements they contain are 
recognized as true to-day. Of course, the truth does not 
change. But man's appreciation of tiie truth grows, and 
develops, and changes from day to day, so that often the 
heresy of yesterday is the truth of to-day, and the supersti- 
tion of to-morrow. Now the teacher has to follow these fluctua- 
tions because he is concerned with truth in the abstract, and 
it is his duty to keep in touch with the growth of the develop- 
ing appreciation of the truth, and to discern between whole- 
some and unwholesome developments of the modem mind. But 
the ordinary man's interest in the truth is not theoretical, but 
practical. He wants a sure guide which will direct his daily 
life, here and now, and tell him what to do to-day. So the in- 
tellectually active preacher must be patient with some preju- 
dices which satisfy the pragmatic test of life, and which are 
the shield which instinct places over our common life to pro- 
tect it from the daily fluctuations of that most untrustworthy 
thing, the modem mind. Instances of prejudices which ought 
to be respected are : 

(i.) Devotion to the Bible^ as in general the Word of Qod. 
It may be exceedingly irritating to a student of criticism to be 
met with a steady refusal to accept his latest judgment; but 
he must remember that these judgments have changed many 
times, while on the whole devotion to the Bible as *^the Word of 
God" has produced the most steadfast and noble characters and 
lives that the world has ever seen. So, when we meet with this 
prejudice, ^'What was good enough for my father is good 
enough for me," we ought to recognize in it a prejudice which 
should be respected and met with sympathy, even if it needs to 
be corrected. If the truth of evolution and development makes 
reinterpretation necessary, and every living organism must 


readjust itself to a changing environment, the other truth of 
the permanent element in revelation justifies a certain degree 
of conservatism. 

(ii.) Experience of Spiritual Blessingi. — ^Again, should 
we not carefully respect the prejudices which spring from the 
experience of God's blessings in the past? In any old congre- 
gation there are some who, in obedience to past teaching, have 
formed devotional habits which have brought much blessing 
into a life. It would be fatal to a soul's life if too readily it 
were to abandon all its old habits at the bidding of each new 
curate who enthusiastically advocates a new way of life and 
denounces the old. For instance, in teaching the duty of re* 
eeiving Holy Communion fasting, while we insist on the young 
accepting the discipline of the Church in the matter, ought we 
not to make allowances, and to sympathize with the confirmed 
habits of the aged who have received Holy Communion after 
breaking their fast for years before the new curate was bom? 
Sympathy and courtesy for prejudices and habits which are 
based on spiritual experience will be more in harmony with the 
mind of Christ than the hard and rigid legalism which would 
oiforce one rule on all alike. There is compensation in thus 
recognizing the value of conservatism. It will in time give a 
certain permanence to your own teaching. Richard, Bishop of 
Chichester, once said to me : ^*Do not be discouraged if it take 
you a long time to get anything into the heads of my dear 
people. It wiU take centuries to get it out.** 

But there are prejudices which should not be respected. 

(B) Bad Prejudices — (i.) FdUehood. — Some prejudices 
are rooted in falsehood, and ought not to be respected because 
they are bad for the soul, and hinder the work of God. They 
spring often from a false conception of Gt)d, or of man, or of 
the Church or ministry. They must be dissolved or conquered 
before the soul can grow into union with God. 

Take for instance the prejudice against the teaching of 
the Church on confession to a priest. If an old man says, *'I 
do not wish to make use of this means of grace myself. I have 
all my life confessed my sins to Grod alone, and received the 
assurance of His pardon, and I am satisfied with this," we 
may accept this statement, even if we do not sympathize with 
it, as a prejudice which may be respected, provided his sins 


are not open and grievous. Bat if a man denounces the teach- 
ing of this part of the Church's doctrine and discipline as 
false, if he not only will not use this means of grace himself but 
tries to hinder the priest from preaching it and others from 
using it, then we can recognize a prejudice which is bad, and 
which we must try to conquer or dissolve. Let us study this 
prejudice as a sample of a whole class of evil prejudgments, 
and the way in which they should be met. 

(ii.) Instinctwe. — ^The first question is: **Ib the prejudice 
rooted in the subconscious, or in the conscious self? In the 
blood, or in the brain? Rooted in instinct, or in reason? Is 
there some element of good in it, or is it wholly evil?** 

By instinctive prejudice we mean a prejudice which a man 
does not reason out for himself, which is not the conclusion of 
reasoning, but merely the movement of aversion, varying from 
a mild dislike or discomfort when the subject is mentioned to 
an intense and violent abhorrence. Instinctive prejudices are 
sometimes due to the accumulated scattered words, or phrases, 
or fragments of conversation, which are stored in the monory, 
even when little noticed at the time, or they may be due to a 
kind of herd instinct based on the coUective memory of some 
sad experience in the past. In England, on this matter of con« 
fession, the root of the prejudice against it may be traced to 
both these sources. The undoubted evils of the abuse of this 
means of grace have burned themsdves into the memory of our 
race, and created a preliminary attitude of hostility. It is 
doubtful whether there is any validity in the ideas of racial 
memory, and whether this result is not wholly due to a tradi- 
tion of hostility handed down from generation to genera- 

In the case of an instinctive prejudice, deep-rooted in some 
abuse in past centuries, it Is well fully to admit the historical 
truth of such abuse, to point out that the abuse of a means of 
grace must not deprive us of its use, and that those who use 
it and can speak from experience find it a great and most 
blessed help in the spiritual life. The preacher often does 
best when he entirely ignores false misrepresentation, and is 
content to teach strongly the positive truth. 

(iii.) Due to Some Mistaken Conception. — Or it may be 


rooted in a mistaken interpretation of the precious truth that 
there is **only one mediator between God and man, even Jesus 
Christ," and the idea that priestly absolution conflicts with 
this truth, and may weaken one's loyalty to Christ. Now 
such a prejudice is one which we must deeply reverence. 
It has some justification in history; and it is preferable 
to its opposite, the superstition that the priest can ab- 
solve by Us own power and without true contrition in the 

When you examine this prejudice you will notice that it is 
a fallacy, not because it is untrue — on the contrary, it is most 
vitally true — ^but because the idea is not sufficiently extended. 
This is constantly the error in good prejudices, as, for in- 
stance, in patriotism. Patriotism is a pure and noble passion. 
But if the intense love of our own country exhausts our heart, 
and makes us indifferent to or jealous of the prosperity of 
other countries, then a noUe passion has become a sinful prej- 
udice. We must tell such patriots, not that their patriotism 
is wrong, but that it is not sufficiently extended. We must 
love our country in such a way as we could wish every good 
man would love his country ; we must love our country in such 
a way as to wish to see it the champion and liberator, not the 
rival or conqueror, of other countries. So it is always with 
loyalty and love in every form — friendship, love of home, love 
of country, love of our Lord — ^its very life depends on its ever- 
growing expansion ; it becomes a prejudice and may become a 
vice, boastful, jealous, hard, selfish, if a mistaken loyalty will 
not allow love to grow. 

So this kind of prejudice must be met by winning its true 
extension for a trutii which is too narrowly held. The truth 
must be fully acknowledged. Loyalty to Christ as the one 
mediator is indeed a duty which cannot be over-emphasized. 
But our loyalty to Him involves the loyal acceptance of aU 
His teaching. Can the one mediator commission others to 
speak and act in His name and by His authority? Any one 
who fairly reads S. John xx. SI, **As the Father hath sent Me 
even so send I you. . . . Receive ye the Holy Ghost : whose 
soever sins ye forgive they are forgiven unto them: whose so- 
ever sins ye retain they are retained,'' and S. Luke x. 16, ^^He 


that heareth you heareth Me ; and he that rejecteth you reject* 
eth Me; and he that rejecteth Me rejecteth Him that sent 
Me/' will see that He can do so, and has done so. Christ formed 
His Church to be the sphere of His mediation, His body, 
through which He will speak and act. So that real loyalty to 
Christ involves loyalty to those whom He has commissioBied to 
speak and act in His name and by His authority. The priest 
does not absolve in his own name, or by his own authority. 
The fonn of absolution especially says: **Our Lord Jesus 
Christ, who hath given power to His Church to absolve all 
sinners who truly repent and believe in Him, of His great 
mercy forgive thee thine oiFenses : and by His authority com- 
mitted to me, I absolve thee from all thy sins, in the name of 
the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." 

In some such way as this we may hope to dissolve a preju* 
dice which is due to a truth held in too narrow a manner, and 
to win for it its full and legitimate expansion. 

(iv.) Due to an EvU Life. — Other prejudices against the 
doctrine and discipline of the Church are due to an evil life. 
Some men who attend church do so because they wish to keep 
in touch with God ; but they do not wish to alter their haUts, 
or to abandon some sin which clings to them in their home or 
business life, some lust or dishonesty it may be. They love 
vague platitudes about virtue, but they do not wish the appli- 
cation of the Gospel to penetrate to their personal, or business 
life. So they have an instinctive dread of teaching on sudi 
subjects as penance, and a prejudice against it. What is the 
root of the prejudice? Does it not lie in a half-hearted conse- 
cration to God, and in a divided will? The way to meet this 
is in securing real, deep, thorough, penetrating conviction of 

Here it may be noted that much of the prejudice against 
confession is due to preaching on the subject before the con- 
gregation has been thoroughly instructed about sin; also to 
the foolish and mischievous habit of "aUusiveness,*' the habit 
of dragging in allusions to confession on every occasion, in- 
stead of devoting one or two occasions to full and exhaustive 
teaching on this subject. 

So far we have dealt chiefly with prejudices which arise 
from a misunderstanding of the nature, and doctrine, and dis- 


cipline of the Church. We will briefly notice some other classes 
of prejudice. 

(v.) General Notei — (1) Tfc^ Fixed Idea. — ^Prejudices 
may vary from the mere vague bias of a man's mind and the 
presuppositions from which no one is free, to the intensity of a 
lized idea or complex which possesses a man and makes him 
in this direction a blind fanatic. It is useless to reason with 
the man of a fixed idea, because it has ceased to be a reasoned 
opinion, and has become a passion. When a frontal attack is 
useless, then the only hope is to work round by the flanks. A 
coppersmith reduces a lump in a sheet of copper, not by hit- 
ting it on the head, but by gentle tapping all round the cir- 
cumference, so that the excrescence gradually becomes ab- 
sorbed. So with a fixed idea. Avoid a direct blow, but tap 
gently all round the area of the disturbance — e.g,^ a man has a 
fixed idea that Mass is to be condemned as Roman Catholic. 
It is no good telling him that it is not so. But if you persist- 
ently tap round the circumfer^ice of this idea, teaching on the 
universality of the one Gospel service, the cathedrals and an- 
cient village churches as witness of the continuity of our 
CSiuroh down the ages, the ceremonies of the Eastern Orthodox 
Church centering round the liturgy, the sacrificial aspect of 
the Holy Eucharist, the difficulty in his mind may be reduced 
without his being aware of it. Of course, some prejudices do 
not thus yield to treatment, and require a regular surgical 
operation to cut them out* 

(*) The Preacher's Prejudice. — ^The most difficult preju- 
dices to conquer are those embedded in your own mind. For it 
is so much more easy to see the faults of other people than 
our own. What we find so common in others we should sus- 
pect in ourselves. We have acquired our convictions and be- 
liefs in a certain atmosphere. Our mind has been fashioned by 
certain traditions in our home, and school, and university. Our 
friends belong mainly to one school of thought, and to one 
class. All these influences which have formed and fashioned our 
mind inevitably create prejudices which will bias our judjgfment. 
This is the way in which a soul is formed and fashioned, and we 
cannot avoid it. All we can do is to try to discover and cor- 
rect our prejudices by cultivating the opposite point of view, 
and reading all that can be said on the other side. We may 


make it a rule to read the newspaper of the party with which 
we do not agree; and to study the theology of tiie school of 
thought opposed to us. This will not weaken conviction if 
your beliefs are true. It will strengthen conviction and sound 
judgment, while it corrects bias and dissolves prejudice. Hie 
loud ^^cocksureness of the half-informed** is the utterance, not 
of true conviction, but of conceit. The most passionate dog- 
matist is often the most profound sceptic. It is not because he 
believes strongly in the truth, but because he does not bdieve 
in it, that he becomes hard and narrow in his dogmatism, a mass 
of prejudices. There are diversities of gifts and differences 
of administration in the same body. All are not caUed to be 
critics, but all are called on to be loyal to the truth, as far as 
they can see it, and this will preserve us from being unduly 
swayed by our prejudices. Stem devotion to truth at any cost, 
readiness to follow it wherever it may lead, at whatever sacri- 
fice ; confidence that Christ Himself is the truth, and that every 
guess at truth in science and philosophy leads at last to Him; 
the instinctive and passionate loathing of a lie or of a false 
argument or of any unfairness in the statement of a case, as the 
very hiss of the serpent ; the recognition that to suppress the 
truth from unworthy motives is to disown Christ; courage and 
faithfulness in obeying the truth when seen ; the humility which 
recognizes that we are not infallible, and that our slotii and 
sinfulness often give us a very imperfect or distorted image of 
the truth ; these will breed in us an habitual fairness of mind 
which will do much to correct our own prejudices and to win 
the confidence of those who think they are opposed to us. 
Humility which profoundly distrusts our own impulsive judg- 
ments, and which recognizes even our own reasoned judgments 
as merely the best we can do at the time, and likdy to be cor- 
rected by experience ; faith which recognizes God in every man, 
and believes that not only the great scholar, but also the poor- 
est and most ignorant peasant, has something to teach us ; tiie 
diffidence in ourselves which, as it becomes more profound, in- 
creases our confidence in Grod; all these help to guard us 
against our own prejudices, and to cultivate that courtesy of 
address which is of supreme value in the art of persuasi<m, a 
courtesy which is always most unwilling to wound, and which 
loves the path of peace. 


For we cannot realize the responsibility, full of awe, of 
speaking in God's name without being profoundly aware that 
many of the prejudices which we have to meet and overcome 
Bpring, not from God's message, but from His messenger. Our 
faults of character, our levity or lack of love, or carelessness 
of speech in the ordinary intercourses of daily life, our own 
hostilities, pride, anger, jealousies, and envyings in daily life; 
our pulpit manners ; our self-assertiveness, our hard dogmatic 
manner of address, our coldness and lack of emotion in speak- 
ing of things divine ; or, on the other hand, our excessive ema- 
tionalism and sentimentality, our unreality, and the weakness 
of our faith, or hope, or love: we should recognize all these 
as raising obstacles in the pathway of persuasion, and dimming 
the splendor of the heavenly vision which we try to bring to 
others. It is safe to say that any man who truly knows him- 
self will tremble at the thought of the difficulties his own sins 
place in the way of the acceptance of the truth, and will con- 
stantiy utter the fervent prayer: 

^^Let not those that seek Thee be confounded through me, 
O Lord God of Israel" (Ps. Ixix. 6). 

8. RuLBS FOB PsftsuAsiON. — (1) Be careful not need- 
lessly to arouse prejudices by carelessness of speech and 

(5) Do not touch on points which you know to be irri- 
tating, unless it be a duty to deal with them. 

(ft) Avoid ^^allusiveness," the habit of alluding to side 
issues on which, perhaps, the people have not been properly 

(4) Begin by emphasizing those aspects of a subject on 
which you think the congregation agree with you. This cre- 
ates an atmosphere of consent. 

(6) Make the best of men. Englishmen are more ready 
to accept rebuke when full credit has been given to them and 
justice done to their good qualities. 

(6) You are most likely to jiersuade men to agree with 
you if you begin by agreeing with them. 

(7) Make a wise use of suggestion. If you suggest that a 
man will disagree with what you are going to say, you create 
the atmosphere of the opposition you wish to avoid. If, on 
the other hand, you suggest that 'Sre shall all be agreed on 


this point,'* you throw the burden of duagreement on eadi 
individual. He has to make a deliberate mental effort to diiiao- 
ciate himself from the supposed universal agreement. 

(8) Believe in man, as well as in God. Men are generally 
far nobler than their actions indicate. The corporate con- 
science of the *^it" in a theater will generally rutidessly con^ 
demn in the villain the very passions which tiiey find so hard 
to conquer in themselves. 

(9) Cultivate the habit of seeing men as Gk>d sees them, 
not as they are, but as they are becoming, and as they desire 
to be. 

(10) Be appreciative. Only the smug self-satisfaction of 
a res}>ectable Pharisee needs stem denunciation. Sinners do 
not as a rule need conviction of sin so much as they need con- 
viction of goodness. Hope revives when you make the most of 
their good qualities. 

(11) Remember that conviction is caught, not taught. 
In proportion as faith or zeal or love bums fervently in your 
own heart it will communicate itself to others. 

(12) Sterilize yourself against the controversial spirit. 
The man who enters the pulpit expecting opposition creates 
what he expects. If your heart and words and tone of voice 
and bearing are conciliatory you create an atmosphera of 

(18) Secure interplay of humor and pathos. 

(14) Don't overstrain or overwork an emotion, as this 
leads to reaction. 

(15) Alternate strain and relaxation. 

(16) No art of persuasion can be of any value unleas it is 
at every moment penetrated through and through by the light 
and power of the Holy Spirit. Form the habit of constantly 
looking away from yourself to wait on Him for inspiration. 
Prayer and the Holy Spirit's power are the secret of per^ 
suasion. Lift up your heart to Him constantly while speaking 
with the prayer- 
Heal our wounclSy our strength renew. 

On oar dryness ponr Thy dew. 

Wash the stains of gollt away; 
Bold the stabbom heart and wllL 
Melt the frosen, warm the chUl« 

Guide tte steps that go astray. 


m. — ^Passion 'and Emotion 

In dealing with the appeal to passion and emotion, we 
have come to the most difficult aspect of our subject. For 
without this appeal there is no persuasion ; and jet this power 
of awakening passion and emotion is one which may be most 
disastrously misused. It is a gift which needs the sternest 
moral discipline in those who use it; and yet without its use 
preaching is robbed of its power. By instruction and dialectic 
the truth has been revealed clearly and vividly to men's minds. 
But, like Pygmalion's statue, it remains a cold and lifeless 
image until the flush of passion gives it life and breath and 
being. Those who resent the appeal to the passions, as likely 
to disturb or blind the judgment, are generally possessed by 
an inadequate conception of Grod's nature and of man's psy- 
chology. In dealing with human affairs the judgment is not 
most just when it is most passionless. In fact, the contrary 
is the case ; the cold, passionless, intellectual judgment nearly 
always errs from want of sympathy. God is not merely an idea 
of compelling beauty, who waits coldly sublime among the 
stars for us to see and admire. He is all-penetrating energy, 
who inspires as well as reveals, who enables as well as enlightens. 
He is power from on high which penetrates man's nature, and 
reinforces and exalts every activity of man's personality, stimu- 
lating every part of our being to new possibilities. He not only 
enlightens the mind ; He inflames the heart and strengthens the 
will. He is not content to be merely a heavenly vision, a cold 
abstraction, the perfect, the Absolute, carved in the cold and 
lifeless stone of passionless intellectual concepts. He is and He 
desires love, and at the Incarnation He embraces our human 
nature, as ^^the Word became flesh and dwelt among us." He 
steps down from His pedestal and becomes a living, loving, 
palpitating, human being, whose heart vibrates with every 
human passion and emotion, in whom these passions and emo- 
tions are woven into a sinless human will as He brought them 
day by day into responsive obedience to the Father's will. 
This is the Word of God whom the preacher has to proclaim ; 
and if he can preach Him without passion it can only be be- 
cause he does not really know Him. 

It is sometimes said tiiat Aristotle and other ancients depre- 


cated the appeal to the passions. But it must be remembered 
diat they dealt chiefly with forensic rhetoric, and only con- 
demned what would pervert the judgment. ^^It is improper to 
warp the judgment of a juror by exciting him to anger or 
jealousy or compassion, as this is like making the rule which 
one is going to use crooked." (^^The Rhetoric of Aristotle," 
Book I.). 

Here we may quote some admirable remarks of Dr. Camp- 
bell (^Thilosophy of Rhetoric," Book I., chap, vii.) : 

*^To say that it is possible to persuade men without speak- 
ing to the passions is but at best a specious kind of nonsense. 
The coolest reasoner always in persuading addresseth himdf 
to the passions in some way or other. This he cannot avoid 
doing if he speak to the purpose. To make me believe it is 
enough to show me that things are so: to make me act it is 
necessary to show that the action will answer some end. That 
can never be an end to me which gratifies no passion or affec- 
tion in my nature. You assure me St is for my honor.' Now 
you solicit my pride, without which I had never been able to 
understand the word. You say, *It is for my interest.' Now 
you bespeak my self-love. ^It is for the public good.' Now 
you rouse my patrotism. ^It will relieve the miserable.' Now 
you touch my pity. So far, therefore, is it from being an 
unfair method of persuasion to move the passions that tiiere 
is no persuasion witiiout moving them. 

*^But if so much depends on passion, where is the scope for 
argument? Before I answer that question, let it be observed 
that in order to persuade there are two things that must be 
carefully studied by the orator. The first is to excite some 
desire or passion in the hearers ; the second is to satisfy their 
judgment that there is a connection between the action to which 
he would persuade them and the gratification of the desire or 
passion which he excites. This is the analysis of persuasion. 
The former is effected by communicating lively and glowing 
ideas of the object ; the latter, unless so evident of itself as to 
supersede the necessity, by presenting the best and most for- 
cible arguments which the nature of the subject admits. In 
\he one lies the pathetic, in the other the argumentative. These 
incorporated together constitute that vehemence of contention 


to which the greatest exploits of eloquence ought doubtless to 
be ascribed." 

W. 6. Channing says of rhetoric: ^^Without attempting a 
formal definition of the word, I am inclined to consider rhetoric, 
when reduced to a system in books, as a body of rules derived 
from experience and observation, extending to all communi- 
cations by language, and designed to make it efficient.'' 

Rhetoric is defined by Aristotle as '^a faculty of discover- 
ing aU the possible means of persuasion in any subject." ^^By 
the emotions," he writes, ^^I mean all such states as are at- 
tended by pain or pleasure, and produce a change or difference 
in our attitude as judges." 

Dr. McDougall (^^Social Psychology," p. 46) defines emo- 
tions as the generic name for the modes of affective experience 
which result from the excitement of any instinct. 

In our ordinary Anglo-American use the word ^^passion" is 
generally confined to strong feelings which prompt to action. 
**When any feeling or emotion completely masters the mind 
we call it passion" (Webster's Dictionary). It is necessary to 
rescue the word from its too frequent association with evil. 
Passion is strong feeling which prompts to action. It may be 
of the most noble as well as of the basest sort. It means to 
bear, or to suffer. Its compound, compassion or sympathy, to 
suffer together with another, is the word which is constantly 
used of our Lord as His motive for action. ^^ Jesus had com- 
passion on her," or '^ Jesus, moved with compassion, stretched 
forth His hand." The Christian ideal is not to be passion- 
less, but to have passion under the control of reason and con- 
science. To be apathetic, incapable of feeling strongly, is a 
defect which misrepresents the Christian ideal as something 
anaemic and lacking in force; a negative spirit, a denial of 
life, a ^^nay" which Nietzsche justly scourges with his con- 
tempt. Passion needs to be restrained in order that it may be 
purified of selfishness and grow in force for vigorous action. 
But discipline and restraint are to preserve passion from waste 
and intensify its force in action, not to eradicate or kill it. 

1. Thoxtoht ok Fkbuko. — ^It is a deep-rooted supersti- 
tion of our age to imagine that men are controlled by reason- 
ing. Reasoning may sometimes indicate the direction in which 


we ought to moTe. But it does not move us. Love or desire 
moves the will. Logic or reasoning is the tentative and im- 
perfect analysis and formulation of a small part of our con- 
scious experience. But below the level of consciousness in the 
vast unfathomable depth of the unconscious there are great 
forces of instinct and emotion which are waiting to be libera 
ated and woven up into the character, desirei^ waiting for 
attention in order that \hey may become motives. By far 
the most important part of education is to evoke and cultivate 
wholesome instincts; to help children to feel rightly and to 
form a right scale of values. Does not this account for the 
great success of our public schools, that the boys to a large 
extent ignore or evade the persevering effort of the staff to 
educate them in intellectual pursuits, while through games and 
freedom and self-government they educate themselves in 
wholesome instincts and emotions? It is to this task that the 
preacher addresses himself in his appeal to passion and emo- 
tion. ^^Early and late,'' says Rathenau (in his stimulating 
book, ^^In the Days to Come," p. 47), ^early and late must we 
repeat to those whose admiration for intellectualist thought 
knows no bounds, that the greater and nobler part of life con- 
sists in willing. But all willing is love and predilection, not a 
thing which can be proved. It pertains to the soul, and be- 
side it the intellect, numbering, measuring, and weighing^ 
stands apart and self-aware, like a booking clerk at the entry 
to the world's theater." 

The instincts and emotions, with their opposites, to which 
the preacher may appeal, are, roughly speaking, as follows: 
Love and hatred, desire and aversion, joy and sadness, cour- 
age and fear, hope and despair, anger and pride, emulation, 
admiration, wonder, pity, and compassion. 

The nature of the appeal, the manner of its delivary and the 
expansion of its detail will be depencjent on many factors which 
need careful consideration and which vary from time to time. 

2. The Pkeachbr's Feeijnob. — The preacher cannot 
move others unless he is moved himself, so his personal char- 
acter and convictions will be the first factor to be considered. 
A public school and university education often so disciplines 
a man in the control of his emotions that feelings which are 
never allowed expression tend to die out, and leave a man in- 


capable of strong emotion. No doubt this discipline of self- 
restraint, this fear of transgressing ^^good form" and ^^giving 
oneself away" has its use in saving men from indulging in a 
glut of emotionalism. But it sometimes breeds a timidity of 
self-conscious pride which injures a preacher's power, as we 
shall see when we consider delivery. It is well, then, for 
preachers to recognize their limitations, and not to attempt 
to awaken any passion which they do not themselves feel to 
some real extent. The wings of Icarus melted when he ap- 
proached the sun because they were artificial, stuck on with 
wax, and not a real outgrowth of his inner nature. So when a 
preacher soars with borrowed wings into the empyrean, where 
he is not really at home, in flights of mystic ecstasy which he 
has not experienced but only assumed, the disaster is inevitable 
which in time invariably overtakes falsehood. It is better to 
walk with intensity, than to fly with insincerity. 

8. TKMPBaAMENT OF THE AuDiENCE. — In the appeal to 
passion and emotion it is necessary rightly to estimate the 
emotional temperament of the audience, which varies with time, 
place, and occupation. The racial temperament — the vivacious 
Celt in Cornwall and Wales, the cautious Scot, the phlegmatic 
Saxon, the hard-hearted but sentimental Yorkshireman with 
his dry humor, the affectionate Lancastrian — ^will have to be 
considered. The spirit of the age must also be rightly esti- 
mated. It is much to be noted that at the beginning of the 
nineteenth century both French and English literature reveal 
a much more open avowal of emotion than is manifest to-day. 
We frequently read, both in novels and in history, of heroes, 
statesmen, and generals who gave way to tears, a self-revelation 
which seldom occurs to-day. It is most difficult rightly to esti- 
mate the cause and meaning of this change: whether the in- 
creased intellectualization and mechanization of life due to the 
scientific spirit has dulled our emotions, or has strengthened 
our self-control ; whether we have become more hard and shal- 
low or cynical, so tiiat we are incapable of strong emotions; 
whether the affectation of indifference represents a real hard- 
ening of the heart, or is merely a protective shield which we 
throw over our inner life to preserve our feelings from too fre- 
quent laceration, it is hard to judge. I am inclined to think 
that each of these has a share in forming the habit of suppress- 


ing our emotions. We live so much more in public than our 
ancestors did. They were chiefly concerned with the little 
tragedies of their village or imme<^ate neighborhood ; but with 
our daily newspaper every morning at breakfast time the sor- 
rows of half the world make impact on our heart and mind, 
and we have to harden ourselves lest we should feel too much. 
News of a war in olden times used slowly to come home to us, 
softened with the personal touch as warriors gradually drifted 
back to their villages, or failed to return. But to-day every 
bullet fired on far-off battlefields ricochets on the hearts and 
minds of those at home, and makes the heart bleed in its help- 
lessness. Again, publicity no longer respects our most Intimate 
and tender feelings, and eager, hungry cameras and cinemato- 
graph operators are ready to photograph our tears. 

Occupational effect on the emotions has also to be consid- 
ered. The preacher must have a sympathetic understanding 
of what a man feels who has followed the plough all day, or, 
on the other hand, has watched for eight hours a day the same 
machine making the same motions at the rate of a thousand 
revolutions a minute. No wonder that the mechanics of our 
great cities flock to the football field, where in a short hour and 
a half their deadened emotional life is quickened again into 
vitality by watching adventure, drama, skill, and courage, with 
the swift alternation of hope and fear, of the ecstasy of victory 
and the depression of defeat. 

Here we may also note that the awful experience of the war 
has entirely changed the emotional valuation of life for those 
who have been through it. The things which moved men most 
before the war do not now appeal to them in the same way. 
The deepest springs of personality have been wounded. The 
soul has been stunned, and awakens to find all its old ideals 
shattered. The preacher must sympathetically enter into this 
state of disillusionment, and help men to revalue life on a 
sounder basis. 

4. Ax.TE&NATiON. — ^It may be well here to emphasize a very 
important point in the art of persuasion, which I may call the 
principle of alternation. The most difficult person to persuade 
to appreciate a new point of view is one whose habits of thought 
have become fixed. His life in business, or at work, is mechani- 
cal; for forty years he breakfasts at the same time, catches 


the same train, does the same work, and returns home at the 
same time. His mental and spiritual life also tends to grow 
set. If he lives in the suburbs, and is a clerk, on Sunday he 
attends Matins at eleven, and Evensong at seven. If he is a 
working man he is satisfied with a substitutionary religion, 
which consists of sending his children to Sunday school. If 
there is one thing he intensely dislikes it is a new idea, or any- 
thing which challenges his accust<xned mode of thought. His 
mentality is torpid. The crushing power of an age of mech- 
anism has hastened the katabolic process by which kinetic 
energy of an immortal soul tends to degradation into a state 
of inertia. The hopes and aspirations of youth have beaten 
themselves fiercely against ihe bars of the cage, until they sink 
down bleeding and exhausted to accept captivity. The 
preacher has to meet this heavy spiritual indifference, and 
stimulate the captive soul, with its deadened faculties, into the 
spiritual activity of a free spirit. 

We have seen that the supreme art of teaching is unity in 
variety, the constant repetition of one thought in varied form, 
and the stimulation of mental processes by questioning. The 
question now before us is how to move a stubborn and inert 
win which puUs heavily in one direction by a dead weight. The 
answer came to me forty years ago as I was watching some 
sports at Lilly Bridge. It was a tug-of-war between a huge, 
massive team of the Grerman Gymnastic Club, who opposed a 
vastly superior weight to a team of light sailors from one of 
our battleships. The sailors pulled hard for the first three 
minutes without making the slightest impression on the solid 
stability of their msissive opponents, who lay back on the rope 
absolutely immovable. It seemed as if this might go on for- 
ever. Then we saw the sailors suddenly relax, and the solid 
stability was shaken before it felt the strain again. Again and 
again this method of strain and relaxation shook and dis- 
organized the immovable mass, until, by a sudden reversal, the 
sailors walked away with the rope, the whole team of their 
massive opponents tumbling along after them in disorder. 

Translated into spiritual terms, this gives us the important 
principle of strain and relaxation. When a man is opposed to 
you by some fixed habit of his mind it is useless merely to pull 
in the opposite direction. You must shake his mental stabil- 


ity. You must distract his mind. You must rdax the strain 
on the one line of argument, or the one instinct or emotion, and 
then he maj be willing to move in your direction. So, in ap- 
pealing to passion and emotion, the strain must not be kept 
too long on one feeling. The soul must be kept mobile. 
Shakespeare intensifies the tragic by the occasional contrast 
with the comic. Our Lord in the parable of the Prodigal Son 
touches the deepest depths of despair, awakens \he strongest 
hope, and manifests the loftiest height of joy and ecstasy. We 
shall not attain the highest development of love without play- 
ing on hatred. ^^O ye that love the Lord, see that ye hate the 
thing that is evil." We shall not as a rule touch the deepest 
depths of pathos without an occasional touch of humor. At- 
traction becomes infinitely more powerful when it is reinforced 
by repulsion for its opposite; and so through all the gamut 
of emotion the principle of alternation should be observed. 

6. Rules for ExcrriKG Passion anb Emotion — (i.) Love 
God. — ^To persuade men, an orator needs the gift of a sensitive 
soul, and a true piety. The first requisite is to love GU>d with all 
one's heart, and mind, and soul, and strength. This can only 
be attained by one who is persevering in prayer, meditation, 
and contemplation. That is why I here speak of the preacher 
as an orator, because from its derivation an orator is a speaker 
who prays. Earnest and thorough prayer must not only pre- 
cede the composition of a sermon, it must continue unbrok^i 
throughout the construction, and during the delivery. It 
keeps the soul sensitive to Divine inspiration, which will purify 
and discipline and correct. 

(ii.) Love Man. — ^L'Abb6 Mullois writes (in his ^^Essai 
sur la mani^re de parler au peuple") : ^^To speak well to men 
it is necessary to love them much. Yes, whatever they may be, 
blameworthy, so indifferent, so ungrateful, so sunk in shame, 
above all and beneath all it is necessary to love them. That is 
the pith of the Gospel, that is the secret of living and effica- 
cious speech, that is the magic of eloquence. Our business is to 
win men's hearts in order that we may restore them to God. 
Again, there is nothing but charity which knows how to find 
those mysterious ways which lead to the heart." 

"However clever and logical you may be," writes I'Abb^ 
Bellefois, "whatever of science and talent and reason you may 


bring to your task, you will accomplish nothing. Those who 
rely on reason will perish by reason. But love presents the 
matter from another point of view, which banishes difficulties, 
and gives light and courage. Francis de Sales converted 
70,000 Protestants by his kindness and charity, when none 
were converted by discussion." 

We may adapt S. Augustine, and say : ^Tiove, and say what 
thou wilt." But this love must be a supernatural love — ^that is, 
we must love men because they are dear to God, and not merely 
because they may be pleasing to ourselves. We have placed 
the rule of love before all other rules not only because it is 
supreme, but also because love alone can discipline and purify 
and restrain the appeal to passion. 

(iii.) Be Moved Yourself, — To move others it is necessary 
to be moved oneself. No clever metaphysical analysis of pas- 
sion can help in oratory, only a strong and happy sensibility 
of mind. The preacher must cultivate the habit of strong and 
healthy feeling. The enemy of wholesome feeling is the self- 
love which makes us callous to the feelings of others, and 
which sinks down into cynicism, the child of scepticism and 
disillusionment, and leaves the heart of the preacher a cinder 
instead of a flaming coal. Conviction leaps from heart to 
heart, not from head to head. To kindle a fire in others you 
must be yourself aflame. This primary duty of yourself feel- 
ing the emotion which you desire others to feel, will guard 
you against that grave peril of insincerity when a man uses 
the tricks of oratory to awaken passions in others which he 
has not suffered himself. 

Cicero ("Orator," p. 188) : "I have tried all the means 
to move men. I have carried them to as great perfection as 
possible. But I vow that I owe my success less to these efforts 
of my mind, than to the vehemence of the passions which agi- 
tate and transport me out of myself when I speak in public. 
It was by this vehemence that I have reduced Hortensius to 
silence, that I closed the mouth of Catiline, and reduced Curion 
into such a state that he was not able to say a single word in 
reply except that I had made him lose his memory by some 
sorcery" (p. 129). 

(iv.) Consider the Subject. — ^Does it demand or admit of 
pathos? If ii does, of what sort should the appeal be? And 


where should it come? One subject requires a gentle emotion 
pervading every part, another subject requires a cold and log- 
ical treatment with the appeal to passion at the end ; one sub- 
ject works up steadily to the sublime, another would beccmie 
ridiculous if it were clothed in the thunderings and lightnings 
of Sinai when it needs only the calm resolve of fervent love. 
How far should the appeal to pusion be premeditated? We 
ought to know, in the work of preparing a sermon, which emo- 
tions and pflissions will move men to the action proposed as the 
end for which we are speaking. This will penetrate the whole 
discourse, and dominate the selection of all expansions and en- 
richments. But the quality and intensity of the appeal will 
largely depend on the inspiration of the moment. 

(v.) Methods of Awakening Emotion. — ^By presenting the 
object (a) to the senses, (b) direct to the imagination. 

(a) To the Semes.*— It much assists the imagination if 
the appeal can be made to the senses by some visible object. 
This concentrates the attention by enlisting the eyes as wdl as 
the ears. Marc Antony, over the dead body of Oesar, holding 
up the rent and bloodstained mantle, cried : **If you have tears 
prepare to shed them now. You all know this mantle." 

A sailor who had been mutilated in Spain set all England 
on fire by exhibiting his ear which had been cut off. 

Some time ago Spanish missioners used to enter the town 
where they were to preach bearing a cross and being scourged. 
Very outrageous, of course ; but more effectual than driving up 
to the church in a rich fur coat and a Rolls-Royce car to 
preach about the Cross. These same Spanish missioners used 
to exhibit a coffin on the stage from which they preached, and 
conduct imaginary conversations with the departed. This 
would, perhaps, somewhat shock a suburban congregation in 
England to-day at 11 o'clock Matins. But the principle of the 
use of eyes is important, and a large crucifix helps in describ- 
ing the Pflission. 

(b) To the Imagination. — ^In the absence of any appeal to 
the eyes, the ears are our chief means of access to the soul, and 
we have to learn how to paint with words a scene so vivid that 
it will become a picture in the imagination of our hearers. This 
will be dealt with when we speak of the use of words and illus^ 
trations. Perhaps the most familiar piece of word-painting as 


an appeal to the emotions is in the hymn, ^'When I survey the 
wondrous Cross." 

(c) To the ReoMon. — Some emotions can be best stirred 
among educated persons by an appeal to the reason; and, in 
fact, no emotion is likely to be permanent unless we first en- 
list on its side the understanding and judgment, reason, and 
the conscience. There is much force in the courteous remon- 
strance ot a conference of Secondary school-boys in North 
London on Church Reform, who in their eleventh resolution 
say: ^^With all due respect for the piety and learning of our 
priests, we boys would welcome sermons of a somewhat more 
intellectuaUy stimulating character than those to which we 
are accustomed." 

(vi.) The DiicipUne of Emotion. — Good taste is essential 
both in manifesting and awakening emotion. A certain author 
is so fond of exposing his soul to the public gaze, and dissect- 
ing his innermost motives and feelings before his readers, that 
he has almost destroyed the mystery which is the charm of 
personality by habitually living inside out. It is a funda- 
mental truth that we cannot move others unless we ourselves 
are moved. But it does not foUow that we should always 
express to the full all that we feel. Feeling, when it is pro- 
found and intense, is incapable of expressing itself in words, as 
all know who have ever deeply loved, or mourned, or feared. 
Only a shallow nature, one who lives habitually on the surface 
of life, will be willing to expose his feelings often in public. A 
man seldom violates his own personality in this way without 
doing outrage to the personality of other men, and losing their 
esteem, a preacher's most precious asset. But well-disciplined 
emotion, which is under perfect self-restraint, will not evapo- 
rate because it is not fully expressed. It becomes a spiritual 
dynamic in the soul of ihe preacher, which vibrates through 
every word, which intensifies every point, and carries convic- 
tion to every heart. 

Passion should not be detached as a separate heading, it 
should be a flame increasing in intensity which kindles the whole 
discourse. The appeal to passion should not be announced as, 
*^Now I am going to appeal to your passions." This puts 
hearers on their guard. The appeal to conscience, judgment, 
and intelligence may be formally and definitely announced, ^^I 


appeal to every honest man who hears me to give his verdict." 
But the appeal to the emotions should not be announced, 
*^Now I'm going to make you angry," for in the first case the 
decision or verdict of Oie judgment is the end of rational 
logic; but in the logic of the emotions the feeling of love or 
hatred, etc., is not an end in itself, it is a means to the end of 

But there are a few occasions when the appeal to the pas- 
sions may be avowed for the sake of its suggestive force. The 
dough-like indifference of a phlegmatic audience may sometimes 
be leavened with emotion by the suggestion, ^^Does it not make 
your blood boil to think, etc.?" This may melt a frigid audi- 
ence into a tepid indignation. Or, again, a suggestion may 
heighten the temperature— ^^I dare not dwell any longer on 
the details of these atrocities for fear that your wrath may 
sweep away the restraints of your reason." 

(vii.) The PerU of the Emotions.— The gift of being able 
to awaken the emotions of others exposes the preacher to a 
twofold peril. He may be tempted to become merely emo- 
tional in his preaching, because a certain class of hearers mis- 
take warm feeling for religion, and are therefore pleased to 
have their emotions stirred; and also because merely emotional 
preaching saves the preacher the trouble of real stem intellec- 
tual preparation. It is often not at all good for people to have 
their emotions violently awakened under religious sanction; 
and, unless this is steadied by solid instruction and clear think- 
ing, religious emotion may lead to serious reaction, or find 
expression in most undesirable ways. And, secondly, the effect 
on the preacher himself is often disastrous. Yielding too often 
to the feelings may breed a perilous sentimentality in his gen- 
eral outlook on life, which undermines the moral character. 
Stereotyped emotional expression may lead to insincerity, so 
that he may stimulate emotions which he does not really fed ; 
the power to move others by emotional oratorical devices may 
lead to pride ; and the too frequent expression of sincere feel- 
ing may lead to a morbid reaction of depression in the preach- 
er's own soul, which may imperil both his mental and moral 
stability. This nervous depression of reaction is the price 
which must be paid for all good preaching. For it is of the 
essence of persuasion that a preacher must pour the full force 


of his personality into his utterances. His soul must, as it 
were, leave his body, and expand over the whole audience. But 
this expansion is inevitably followed by a painful contrac- 
tion. Nervousness is the preacher's cross. Stem m^ital and 
moral discipline of body, soul, and spirit is the preacher's safe- 
guard. If he preach frequently he must be careful to increase 
the time spent in prayer, meditation, contemplation, and intel- 
lectual study of a severe nature ; otherwise he may lose his own 
soul. For this reason it is advisable to cultivate different 
styles of preaching, some of which, such as the instructional, 
the expository, and the devotional, will make small demands 
on the emotional energy of the preacher. But the personal 
devotional life of habitual recollection, the faith which instinc- 
tively refers all things to God, the humility which instinctively 
gives Him aU the glory, the abiding penitence which offers no 
foothold to pride, and is at once the secret of perseverance 
and progress, the growing intimacy with our Lord, the Word 
whom we are to preach, will gradually build up that stability 
of character which will stand the strain of emotional excite- 
ment in preaching, and wiU enable us, like S. Paul, to yield our- 
selves to the ministry of the Word without losing our moral 

^^anguage is only the vehicle of thought, for it is not the 
word which holds the subtle conquering energy, but the thought 
which the word seeks to carry, and thought comes with its 
highest force only when the soul is stirred to its profoundest 
depths, and is roused to the compass of all its powers, and 
thrusts itself forward with eager and hastening step. 

''Language is only the vehicle of thought, and thought is 
the mind in conscious action. If words are to bum their way, 
thoughts must be at white heat, and the soul must be on fire. 
We preach to persuade men, and the secret of persuasion is 
the impact of soul upon soul, in which obscurity is overcome 
by clearness, and doubt by faith, and narrowness by breadth, 
fancies by fact, partiality by comprehension, and hesitation 
by decision. 

''It is the fixed, inteUigent certitude of a soul, rooted in 
that knowledge of self which is the outcome of a personal test- 
ing of Divine truth which constitutes the unfailing and inex- 
haustible source of moral power in the preacher." 


Ths PuACBu'i YBAmviy« 

Oft when the Word is <m me to deliver, 
Lifts the illusion, and the truth lies bare; 

Desert or throng, the city or the river. 
Melts in the lucid paradise of air. 

Only lilce souls I see the folk tliereunder. 
Bound who should conquer, slaves who should be klngi ; 

Hearing their one hope with an empty wonder. 
Sadly contented in a show of things. 

Then with a rush the intolerable craving 
Shivers throughout me lilce a trumpet call. 

Oh, to save these I to perish for their saving. 
Die for their life, be offered for them alL 

Thk Puachxb's RunwAx. 

Yet it was well and Thou hast said in reason 
''As is the Master shall the servant be"; 

Let me not subtly slide into the treason, 
Seeldng an honor which they gave not Thee. 


Never at even pillowed on a pleasure. 
Sleep with the wings of aspiration furied. 

Hide the last mite of the forbidden treasure. 
Keep for my joys a world within the world: 

Nay, but much rather let me late returning 
Bruised of my brethren, wounded from within. 

Stoop with sad countenance, and blushes burning. 
Bitter with weariness and sick with sin. 

Then as I weary me, and long, and languish. 
No wise availing from the pain to part. 

Desperate tides of the whole great world's anguish, 
Forced through the channels of a single heart 

Straight to Thy presence get me, and reveal it. 
Nothing ashamed of tears upon Thy feet. 

Show the sore wound and beg Tliine hand to htal it. 
Pour Thee the bitter, pray Thee for the sweet 

Then with a ripple and a radiance through me. 

Rise and be manifest, O Morning Star, 
Flow on my soul, thou Spirit, and renew me, 

Fill with Thyself, and let the rest be far. 



A. — Spaetacub : The Appbai« to the Passions 

A good example of the appeal to the passions and of the 
use of pictures conjured up in the imagination is the speech 
(by Kellogg) of Spartacus, the Athenian slave, to his fellow- 
gladiators when he led them to revolt (78-70 b.c). 13be 
nervous, vigorous English of the composition, the principle of 
strain and relaxation, the skillful drawing of such vivid pic- 
tures in so few strokes, the power of suppressed emotion, the 
swift transition from mild and gentle emotions to intoxicating 
passion, the varied use of so many oratorical devices, the self- 
restraint which allows the imagination of the hearers to co- 
operate with the speaker, the admirable crescendo of appeal, 
and the worthy climax, may be noted. The notes are added to 
afford illustration of principles discussed in former lectures, 
and to stimulate your own criticism. 

"Ye call me chief; and ye do well to call him chief who for 
twelve long years has met upon the arena every form of man 
or beast the broad empire of Rome could furnish, and who 
never yet lowered his arm. 

Not0, — 1. Appeal to love and admiration. 

8. Vivid picture familiar to his liearers. 

"If there be one among you who can say that ever in public 
fight or private brawl my actions did belie my tongue, let him 
stand forth and say it. If there be three in all your company 
dare face me on the bloody sands, let them come on. 

Noi4. — 1. A challenge to their loyalty and respect. 
S. A challenge to their courage. 
8. A kng pause. 

"And yet I was not always thus — ^a hired butcher, a sav- 
age chief of still more savage men. 

NoU, — An appeal to pity and sympathy. 

"My ancestors came from old Sparta and settled among 
the vine-clad rocks and citron groves of Syrasella. My early 
life ran quiet as the brooks by which I sported; and when at 
noon I gathered the sheep beneath the shade and played upon 
the shepherd's flute, there was a friend, the son of a neighbor, 
to join me in the pastime. We led our flocks to the same 


pasture, and partook together of our rustic meal. (Pause and 
change of tone and pace.) 

NoU. — 1. A picture of rural peace in preparation for the tragic con- 
trast with Tiolenoe. Relaxation. 

9. Touching the hearers' Imaginatiye senses of sight, hearing, and love. 

^^That verj night the Romans landed on our coast. I saw 
the breast that had nourished me trampled by the hoof of the 
war-horse, the bleeding body of my father flung amidst the 
blazing rafters of our dwelling ! 

Nots, — 1. Tension or strain. The vi<rfent omtrast: the vivid picture of a 
cruel wrong stimulating pity, sympathy, indignation, anger, wrath, desire 
to act, motive. 

2. Notice the artistic skill wliich touches the hearts with the barest allu- 
sion to mother, father, and home; and allows the hearts of the hearers to 
co-operate with speaker. 

**To-day I killed a man in the arena, and when I broke his 
helmet clasps, behold! he was this friend of mine! He knew 
me, smiled faintly, gasped and died (pause) ; the same sweet 
smile upon his lips that I had marked when in adventurous 
boyhood we scaled the lofty clift to pluck the first ripe grapes 
and bear them home in childish triumph. 

Not4, — 1. How vivid 1 Surprise and reaction. 

2. Contrast between blood and death and youth and life. 

^*I told the pnetor that the dead man had been my friend, 
generous and brave, and I begged that I might bear away 
the body to bum it on a funeral pile and mourn over its ashes. 
Aye, upon my knees amid the dust and blood of the arena I 
begged that poor boon, while all the assembled maids and 
matrons, and the holy virgins they call Vestals, and the rabble 
shouted in derision, deeming it rare sport, forsooth, to see 
Rome's fiercest gladiator turn pale and tremble at the sight of 
that piece of bleeding clay. And the pnetor drew back as 
though I were pollution, and sternly said : Xet the carrion rot ; 
there are no noble men but Romans !' 

NoU. — Contrast between the sensitive pity of friendsliip and the hard, 
cruel callousness of Rome. 

*^And so, fellow-gladiators, must you, and so must I, die 
like dogs. 

yoU. — Appeal to pride and haunting fear of a miserable death. 


'^O Rome ! Rome ! thou hast been a tender nurse to me. Aye, 
thou hast given to that poor, gentle, timid shepherd lad, who 
never knew a harsher term than a flute note, muscles of iron 
and a heart of flint — ^taught him to drive the sword through 
plated armor and links of rugged brass and warm it in the 
marrow of his foe; to gaze into the glaring eyeballs of the 
fierce Numidian lion, even as a boy upon a laughing girl. 

Note, — 1. Apostrophe. Irony. The hardening of a sooL 

2. Every concept is touched into life by simile and metaphor — 
•nron » "flint,'» "frothing wine." 

**And he shall pay thee back until the yellow Tiber is red 
like frothing wine, and in its deepest ooze thy life-blood lies 

NoU. — ^Appeal to paasion of revenge. 

^^Ye stand here now like giants as ye are. The strength 
of brass in your toughened sinews ; but to-morrow some Roman 
Adonis, breathing sweet perfumes from his curly locks, shall 
with his lily fingers pat your red brawn, and bet his sesterces 
upon your blood 

NoU. — Cootrast stirring pride of strength and contempt for softness. 

'*Hark! Hear ye yon lion roaring in his denP 'Tis three 
days since he tasted flesh; but to-morrow he shall break his 
fast u]>on yours, and a dainty meal for him ye will be. 

iVot#.— Sndden reactian and appeal to physical fear through the imagi- 

*'If ye are beasts, then stand here like oxen waiting for 
the butcher's knife. 

NoU. — Contempt for those who are not moved. 

**If ye be men, follow me ! Strike down your guard, gain 
the mountains, and there do bloody work as did your sires at 
old Thermopylse. 

NoU. — ^Awakening hope of freedom kindling the historic memory of 
pride ot race. 

'^Is Sparta dead? Is the old Grecian spirit frozen in your 
veins, that you do crouch and cower like a belabored hound 
beneath his master's lash? 

ifol#.*— Conclusion. Not too prolonged lest passion evaporate. 


**0 comrades! Warriors! Thratians! If we must fight, 
let us fight for ourselves ! If we must slaughter, let us slaugh- 
ter our oppressors ! If we must die, let it be under the clear 
sl^Jf by the bright waters in noble, honorable battle!'' 

N0t0. — ^Kotice Uie crescendo and the ending on the highest note. 

B. — ^Analysis of Mr. Llotd Geoeoe's Coal Speech 
{From *'The Times*' of Jvly 80, 1915) 

Ikteoduction. — ^Personal note, inspired and tried. 

1. MiNEE (Sympathetic). — ^I have seen the miner as — 

(1) A worker — ^none better. 

(8) Politician — ^no sounder. 

(8) Singer — ^none sweeter. 

(4) Footballer — ^a terror. 

(5) Striker— very difficult 

(6) Soldier — ^no better. 

In all capacities he is always in deadly earnest, always 
courageous, always loyal, a steadfast friend but a dangerous 

NM. — ^Flattery leading up to implied rebuke. Full sym- 
pathy with life of audience. An effort to make the best of 
men and put them on good terms with speaker. 

». Need of Coal. — ^Flattery: "We are suffering from 
the patriotism of the miner— quarter million in fighting 




The blood which courses through the veins of Industry. 

It enters into every article of consumption and utility. 

It is our real international coinage. 

In war it is life for us and death for our foes. 

It not merely fetches and carries for us. 

It makes the material and machinery it transports. 

It bends, it molds, it fills the weapons of war. 

Steam means coal, rifles, machine guns, cannon mean 


(9) Shells are made with coal, filled with coaL 

(10) Coal is most terrible of enemies, most potent of 

(11) Our casualty lists were inflicted by German coal. 

8. RivAutT AND L0TA1.TY. — (1) Grerman miners without 
stint, without reserve, without regulation, putting their 
strength at the disposal of their Fatherland. 

(2) Our victory at sea. German flag banished! Who 
has done it? The British miner hdping the British sailor. 

(8) I am not sure you realize how important you are. 
Nor how grave the peril. The country is in peril. 

4. Pessimists and Optimists. — (1) Two new parties — 
Pessimists and Optimists. 

(S) Greater sacrifices are necessary. 

(S) Useless to pay nine-tenths of price, and not get the 
article. Better to pay nothing if we can't pay all. 

(4) We have paid much. Is it enough? No good trying 
to bridge a twelve-feet stream with an eleven-feet plank. 

6. Thb 0ns Question. — Are we doing enough to secure 
victory? Victory means life for our country. It means the 
fate of freedom for ages to come. 

6. Feesdom: a Kindlt Rebuke. — ^False. No one does 
anything unless he wants to. Serve the State as he likes and 
when he likes. Ridicule the *^do what I like'' school. Free- 
dom implies the right for you to enjoy and for others to 

War is— 

(1) Like a fever. Rules which apply in health do not 
apply in sickness. 

(2) Patient. I must have meat as usual, drink as usual, 
more — ^that is, feverish and thirstier. If I want to go out, why 
should I be confined in bed? Freedom above all. ^'But you 
will die?" Ah! it is more glorious to die a free man than to 
live in bondage. No victory along that road. 

(8) The glamour of war thrown over coal labor. Every pit 
is a trench. Every workshop a rampart. Every munition 
yard a fortress. A workman who shirks is like a soldier who 
runs away. 

(4) Example of Australian who refused to go sick until 
the battle was won. 


CoNCLUUON. — ^The peril is great. The triumph is sure if 
we do our best* 

(1) Thousands of the dead could rise and tell you of the 

(S) Thousands in trenches waiting to hear the rattle of 
the cannons. 

(S) The wagons are waiting outside the yard gates to be 
filled. Let us fill them and send than along. 

Then shall be written in letters of flame the greatest chap- 
ter in the history of these islands. When the flag of Freedom 
drooped for a moment under the onslaught of ruthless foe, 
Britain came to the rescue. 

C. — A PaxE Analtsis of "The Li7b or thx Pabiioks," bt 

Piax Lacobdaibb 

Object. — ^To explain the nature of the passions and the 
need of discipline. 

Introduction. — ^IUsum£ of former addresses — 

1. Life being activity expressed by moTement, and all 
movement having a direction determined by an end, we can- 
not understand human life without knowing its end. Our final 
end is happiness, but happiness in union with Ood. 

IB. But union between two beings requires that they should 
have something in common. 

S. As Ood became man by the assumption of our human- 
ity, so man must be made a partaker of the Divine nature; 
that is to say, of its {>erfection, and consequently of its jus- 
tice and goodness. 

Link. — ^Man's final end is not happiness only, but perfec- 
tion. '^Art thou human? Then thou must become divine.** 

1. Thb End of Man is Pbbfbction — Holiness. — (1) 
The inner sanctuary of heaven has twice been opened to the 
prophets, to Isaiah and S. John, to behold a throne and to 
hear the cry, "Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almij^ty," the 
sole title given to their Pather which exhausts perfect praise, 
the cry of creation to its Creator. 

(2) S. Paul repeatedly gives this title to his converts as 
their end or aim — ^^^called to be holy" {vocatu sanctii). We 


may indeed forfeit this aim, but still it is the end for which 
we were created. 

Link. — ^But there are obstacles, difficulties to be overcome. 

2. Mas J A BjfiiNo OF Two Woeldb. — (1) At the dawn of 
an indefinite desire for happiness man recognized himself as a 
being of two worlds, both of them sacred. There is the world 
of Time and Space to which he belongs by his body. Encom- 
passing this is Gbd, the Infinite and Eternal, to whom he be- 
longs by his soul. 

(8) Strengthened outwardly by two arms which may bear 
the sword and the scepter he has within him a double faculty 
at the service of his aspirations. Liberty and Passion. 

(8) Liberty = the gift of willing without any cause than 
himsdf , the gift of choosing his thought, his love, his action, 
his destiny (self-determination). If liberty were alone we 
should at once tend to God as our natural end. 

(4) Passion = the faculty of being moved. Once our 
friend, but now in our fallen nature our enemy. Liberty to 
choose. Passion to love. 

LMc. — ^But the second has seduced the first. 

8. Joy. — (1) When either by liberty or passion we enter 
into possession of Grod or nature, a phenomenon is produced 
which we call joy. Joy is dilation, expansion, exaltation of 
the soul. 

(8) True joy when we expand toward Grod, the Infinite, 
who can satisfy. False joy when we expand to the finite, which 
soon vanishes, and leaves to the soul, intoxicated for a moment, 
only the feeling of a greater void. 

LAnJc. — ^But there is more than joy. There is ecstasy. 

4. EcstXct. — (1) It is the nature of happiness to be 
eternal, to have neither day nor night, nor past nor pres- 
ent nor future; and the soul predestined to that immutabil- 
ity of rapture has received the marvelous germ of it in its 

(8) Ecstasy = joy in which we forget time and oursdves. 
"I lost all account of time.** "I forgot myself.** A mother 
forgets herself on the return of her son; she gazes at him, 
touches him, clasps him in her arms ; it is indeed her son, and 
the hours glide on for her unnoticed in the charm of that 
stream whi^ bore memory away. 


(8) All seek ecstasy. The saint finds it in Grod. But 
fallen man, leaving the paradise of his innocence, his soul stiU 
full of the raptures of his youth, his lips still sweet with the 
remembrance of the tree of life, asks the ruins of nature if no 
traces are left to than of their first dBcacy. He finds them 

Link. — ^Putting aside ambition, which seeks ecstasy in the 
government of men, the passion of great souls; and avarice, 
which seeks it in the possession of gold, the passion of shallow 
hearts, I shall speak of the vulgar passions which snatch the 
multitude from God. 

S. Gk>D's OtFT or Cesaturss. — ^Among God's gift to man 
by which man draws his blood from the veins of the universe, 
and by a transformati<Mi of substance establishing a sublime 
relationship between himsdf and all creation, two were destined 
to become for us the active symbols of eternal life. Bread and 
Wine, the ancient offering which the first pontiff offered in 
homage to the first patriarch of the old law« 

( 1 ) Drink. — ^We made a wrong use of this gift. Pushing 
to the extreme point our experience of its strength, we not 
only found our heart enlarging and its clouds disappearing, 
but Reason, that importunate guest which alarms us with 
truth, and Conscience, that other witness which raises up within 
us the painful image of ourselves — ^both vanished under the 
unforeseen charm of the poison : we felt the ecstasy of intoxi- 

(S) Gambling. — ^In the ideal region of the abstract lies a 
power, cold, impassable, inexorable — ^the mathematical law. 
At the cold hearth of calculation man finds another element of 
joy and ecstasy to quench his thirst for happiness. Chance 
responds to one of his greatest wants — ^the dramatic. Chance 
and cupidity blended together make for him of gambling 
a drama, personal, terrible, joyous, wherein hoi>e, fear, joy, 
and sadness succeed one another, and hold him panting 
under a fever which rises even to madness — ^the frenzy of 

(8) Lust. — Not beyond and around him, but within the 
living circle of his personality lies his flesh. God has given 
to man the power to live beyond himself by transmitting him- 
self to a posterity. Man has corrupted this, and found in lust 


the secret of an intoxication without honor, without power, 
without life — the delirium of voluptuousness. 

Other vices need money. In lust man needs only himself. 
Christ looks down from the Cross on the sensualist, and bleeds 
for him. 

6. The Penalty of Passion — (1) Legal. — Laws are the 
expression of the reigning will, morals the result of the hearts 
of all. The morals of pride are ambition, hatred, reveige ; the 
morals of sensuality are the degradation of the senses and 
the intelligence the dishonor of youth, the oppression of 
women, the dissolution of the marriage bond and of the fam- 
ily. The law in proclaiming rights has proclaimed duties; 
and duties involve sacrifice. Passion must be disciplined by 

(2) Personal. — ^But vice does not wait for the condemna* 
tion of law. It stamps its degradation on the features, and 
works out its destruction in the life. The joy which springs 
from passion is not final. It awaits an awakening of disil- 

(8) Despair. — Joy is the result of the expansion of the 
soul. The contraction of the soul brings sadness. As ecstasy 
is joy at its fullest expansion, so beyond sadness lies despair. 
A moment comes when all the powers of man satiated give him 
the certainty of the world's nothingness. Vice has destroyed 
his power to know and feel. Ood behind nature: the palpi- 
tations of Reality are for him but the tickings of a clock which 
measures his agony. His soul is dead. Light, harmony, and 
love only irritate his hidden wound. He endures in suflTering 
without repentance a life within value. Suicide and Madness. 

Conclusion. — ^Pure morals, restrained ambition, strengthen 
in a people the organs of thought with those of life; the 
peaceful exaltation of virtue replaces for them the intoxication 
of pride and the agitations of sensuality, and if it cannot pre- 
serve them from all misfortunes, it breeds in them a tempera- 
ment capable of resisting it. Inordinate desire and love of 
pleasure destroys national character. Why did Ood give to 
us so fatal a gift as passion? If you were free without pas- 
sion you would do good, but you could not love it. The pas- 
sion which destroys men, saved the woiid on Calvary. 


D. — GusTAYs IJ5 Bon : How the Pstchologicai. 
CHAEACTsmnncs of Races Aes Modihed 

From **The Psychology of Peoples,** Book IV., Chap. I 

P. 17*: "Whatever the nature of the idea, whether it be a 
scientific, artistic, philosophic, or reli|pous idea, the mechan- 
ism of its propagation is always identical. It has to be 
adopted at first by a small number of apostles, the intensity 
of whose faith and the authority of whose names give great 
prestige. They then act much more by suggestion than by 
demonstration* The essential elements of the mechanism c^ 
persuasion must not be sought for in the value of a demon- 
stration. These can be enforced either by the prestige of the 
promulgator or by an appeal to the passions, but no influence 
is exerted by appealing solely to the reason. The masses never 
let themselves be persuaded by demonstrations but merely by 
affirmations, and the authority of these affirmations depends 
solely on the prestige exerted by the person who enunciates 

"What these apostles have succeeded in convincing a 
smaU circle of adepts, and have thus formed new apostles, 
the new idea begins to enter the domain of discussion. It 
arouses at first universal opposition, because it necessarily 
clashes with much that is old and established. The aposUes 
who defend it are naturally excited by this opposition, which 
merely convinces them of their superiority over the rest of 
mankind, and they defend the new idea energetically, not be- 
cause it is true — ^most often they know nothing about its truth 
or falsehood — but simply because they have adopted it. The 
new idea is now more and more discussed; that is to say, in 
reality it is entirely accepted by one side, and entirely rejected 
by the other side. Affirmative and negative, but very few argu- 
ments are exchanged, the sole motives for the acceptance or 
rejection of an idea being inevitably, for the immense major- 
ity of brains, mere sentimental motives, in which reasoning can- 
not have any part. 

'^Thanks to these always impassioned debates, the idea 
progresses slowly. The new generation who find it contro- 
verted tend to adopt it merely because it is controverted. For 
young persons always eager to be independent wholesale oppo- 


siticm to receiyed ideas is the most accessible form of origi- 

**The idea continues then to gain ground, and before long 
it has no longer any need of support. It will now spread every- 
where by the mere effect of imitation, acting as a contagion, a 
faculty with which men are generally endowed in as high a 
degree as are the big anthropoid apes, which modem science 
assigns to men as their f6ref athers. 

**Ab soon as the mechanism of contagion interrenes, the 
idea enters on the phase which necessarily means success. It 
is soon accepted by opinion. It then acquires a penetrating 
and subtle force, which spreads it progressively among all in- 
tellects, creating simultaneously a sort of special atmosphere, a 
general manner of thinking. Like the fine dust of the high- 
way which penetrates everywhere, it finds its way into all the 
conceptions and all the productions of an epoch. The idea and 
its consequences then form part of that compact stock of 
hereditary commonplace imposed on us by education. The 
idea has triumphed and has entered the domain of sentiment, 
where for long it will have nothing to fear. Of the various 
ideas which guide a civilization, some — ^those relating to the 
arts or philosophy, for example — rest confined to the upper 
grades of the nation; others, particularly those rdating to 
religious conceptions and politics, go deep down in some in- 
stances among the crowd. They arrive there in general much 
deformed; but when they arrive there the power they exert 
over primitive minds incapable of reasoning is immense. The 
idea under these conditions represents something that is invin- 
cible, and its effects are propagated with the violence of a 
torrent that has overflown its banks. It is always easy to find 
among a people a hundred thousand men ready to risk their 
lives to defend an idea as soon as this idea has subjugated 
them. Then it is that supervene those great events which 
revolutionize history, and which only crowds are capable of 
accomplishing. It is not men of letters, artists, or phflos- 
ophers who established the rdigions which have ruled the woiid, 
or the vast empires which have stretched from one hemisphere 
to another, or who have been the causes of the great rdigious 
and political revolutions which have changed the face of Eu- 
rope. Those achievements have been the work of the illiterate 


sufBciently dominated by an idea to sacrifice their lives to its 
propagation. With nothing else to rely on but this theoreti- 
cally very insignificant, though practically very effective, out- 
fit, the nomads of the deserts of Arabia conquered a portion of 
the old Greco-Roman world, and founded one of the most 
gigantic empires known to history. It was with a similar moral 
outfit — ^the dominion of an idea — ^that the heroic soldiers of the 
Convaition were victorious against the onslaught of Europe 
up in arms. 

*^A strong conviction is so irresistible that only a conviction 
of equal strength has any chance of resisting it victoriously. 
Faith is the only serious enemy faith has to fear. It is sure 
to triumph when the material force opposed to it is in the 
service of weak sentiments and enfeebled beliefs. If, however, 
it finds itself confronted by a faith of equal intensity, the 
struggle becomes severe, and success under these conditions 
is detennined by accessory circumstances, most often of a 
moral order, by the spirit of discipline or the better organi- 

P. 178: ^^In religion, as in politics, success always goes to 
those who believe, never to those who are sceptical; and if 
at the present day it would seem as if the future belongs to 
the Socialists, in spite of the dangerous absurdity of their 
dogmas, the reason is that they are tow the only party pos- 
sessing real conviction. The modem governing classes have 
lost faith in everything. They no longer believe in anything, 
not even in the possibility of defending themselves against the 
threatening flood of barbarism by which they are surrounded 
on all sides.'' 

P. 179: ^^From the intellectual heights on which it came 
into being the new idea descends from grade to grade, under- 
going on the way incessant alteration and modification until 
it has taken a shape in which it is accessible to the popular 
soul that is to secure its triumph. At this point it is met 
with, concentrated in a very few words, sometimes in a single 
word; but this word evokes powerful images, either seductive 
or terrible, but always on this account impressive. Exam- 
ples are the words ^paradise' and %ell' in the Middle Ages, 
brief syllables which have the magic power of corresponding 
with everything and for simple souls explaining everything. 


The word ^socialism' represents for the modem working man 
one of those magical and synthetic formulae capable of exerting 
an empire over souls. It evokes images which vary with the 
masses which it penetrates, but which are powerful in spite 
of their rudimentary f orms.'* 



CicxEo insists that the first requisite of an orator is a true 
philosophy; and good preaching certainly depends in the first 
place on the message which is to be ddivered, on the truth 
of the idea which animates it, on the importance, and power, 
and vitality of the thought to be expressed. This, we hope, 
has been sufficiently secured in the preceding chapters. It 
remains for us now to consider how this idea, this living Word 
from God, may be so presented to our hearers that they may 
understand its meaning and appreciate its beauty. For it is 
an essential part of persuasion that we shall not only instruct 
but also please our hearers. The artist must study the ma- 
terial in which he is to express his idea. The musician must 
study the instrument with which he is to express his inspira- 
tion. The soldier must study the use of the weapon with which 
he is to wage his warfare and win his victory. So the preacher 
must study the use of words, which are the material of his 
art, the instrument of his utterance, and the weapon of his 

I. — ^The Uss and Abuse of Words 

I. WoBDs Manifest Characteb. — ^It is well to approach 
the subject with a deep sense of the mystery which surrounds 
the use of words, and the awful responsibility which this use 
involves. So we may well remind ourselves that "The Word," 
with all that It implies of the revelation of the character of 
God, is the majestic title of the Son of Gk>d. 

Again, we must remind ourselves of the stem warnings of 
our Lord with regard to the use of words. "Whosoever shall 
speak against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven Him, 
neither in this world, nor in that which is to come. ... Ye 
offspring of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? 
For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. 


. . . And I say unto you, that every idle word tliat men 
shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judg- 
ment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy 
words thou shalt be condemned" (S. Matt. xiL S2). If this 
applies to all men, how much more intensely must it apply to 
the preacher, who is privileged to speak with the most august 
sanction, and amidst most solemn surroundings, on the most 
vital subjects to a trustful audience. This warning imposes 
on the preacher the duty of a life of discipline and sanctity, 
of a self-restraint in speech which will make his private conver- 
sation in harmony with his public utterance, and of a watchful 
care for the inmost movements of his heart ; for the heart is the 
fountain from which all genuine utterance flows. 

Just as the Word of God is the revelation of His character, 
so, in the long run, the word of the preacher will reveal his 
character, and no oratorical devices will for long avail in con- 
cealing the shallow, or selfish, or sinful heart. And as the 
sinless character of our dear Lord, the fact that His every 
word was verified in His every deed, has given abiding force 
and eternal duration to His words, so the personal character 
of the preacher in his home, in his visiting, in his personal in- 
tercourse with other men will ultimately give to his public 
utterance whatever weight it may have* 

S. Ths NATuas OF a Wobd. — Language is one of the 
greatest mysteries in the world. What is a word? A thought 
in the mind stimulates a cell in the brain, which, by a thousand 
delicate adjustments, telegraphs along the nerves, and causes 
the muscles of tongue and lips to unite in agitating the waves 
of the atmosphere, and in producing the one out of ten thou- 
sand sounds which alone can give expression to the thought. 
This sound has no meaning in itself; but it awakens the mem- 
ories and associations of countless centuries, and unfolds the 
long roll of history, and reveals the process of evolution, of 
association, and of memory, which, beginning with the squeak 
or groan of pleasure or pain of an ape, has been purified and 
refined to vibrate with the emotion of some great singer who 
holds thousands spellbound by his song, to glow with the elo- 
quence of Demosthenes and Cicero, and to enshrine the wisdom 
of Plato, and to flame on the lips of Bossuet; above all, the 
lips of our dear Redeemer formed sounds which have won from 


the ages an eternal echo, and will survive the passing of the 

What an amazing miracle, that thought by becoming in* 
camate in speech can make the cold and passionless atmos- 
phere a sacrament, a burning bush on fire jet unconsumed, 
aflame with the passions and the hopes of man ! 

Well may Cardinal Newman write: **If, then, the power of 
speech is a gift as great as any that can be named — if the 
origin of language is by many philosophers even considered to 
be nothing short of divine — ^if by means of words the secrets 
of the heart are brought to light, pain of the soul is relieved, 
hidden grief is carried off, sympathy conveyed, counsel im- 
parted, experience recorded and wisdom perpetuated — ^if by 
great authors the many are drawn up into unity, national char- 
acter is fixed, a people speaks, the past and the future, the 
East and the West are brought into conununication with each 
other — ^if such men are, in a word, the spokesmen and the 
prophets of the human family — ^it will not answer to make 
light of literature, or to neglect its study/' 

Words are conventional signs; that is, they are sounds 
which by mutual agreement represent things. But the 
preacher must study them carefuUy, for they have the power 
of awakening many movements in tiie souls of those who hear. 

H. Slesser, in his admirable book, '^The Nature of Being,** 
writes thus: 

^^ords in the first place cause an auditory or visual sen- 
sation — ^after an interval, an idea. 

^^ords have an emotional as well as a rational signifi- 
cance — *God,' *Love,' ^England,' *Self,' produce emotional dis- 
turbances, irrespective of their connotaticm, nor can it be 
said that any word is wholly free from the quality of euphonic 
disturbance of the emotions. Were it not so, oratory would 
be indistinguishable from dialectic, and poetic faculty would 
be limited to logical utterances. 

*^The emotional quality of words are twofold, sesthetical 
and ethical. The aesthetic qualities tend to produce in the 
recipient the feeling that both the word and the idea which 
it conveys, themselves distinguishable, are pleasurable or 
repugnant; the ethical qualities, the notion tiiat the word, 
whether pleasurable or repugnant at first hearing, ought or 


ought not on moral grounds to be admitted to the understand- 
ing. All words, in combination or otherwise, have three dis- 
tinct powers of pyschical disturbance, rational, ethical, and 
mthetic" (p. 16). 

It is useful to study the words of Holy Scripture as far as 
possible in the original text. This may save us from disas- 
trous mistakes, as, when a preacher discoursing on Gal. vi. 14, 
**6od forbid that I should glory," etc., said how edifying it 
was to notice that S. Paul so often began with the word ^^6od." 
Some of his hearers may have thought that the Greek 
[kii Y^yocTO somewhat weakened the force of his comment. 

It is well to read the passage of Scripture in Latin and 
Greek, and to study the leading words in such books as Skeat*s 
and Murray's dictionaries, and Trench's ^^Study of Words'* 
and ^^Synonyms of the New Testament," as much light is thus 
thrown on the text of Scripture. 

3. The Misuse of Words. — ^Words in the course of time 
change their meaning, and badly need to be restored to their 
legitimate use. It is possible to be accurate without being 
pedantic in the use of words. To give only a few examples 
of the misuse of words. When Mgr. Hugh Benson writes: 
*^The convent where grace was manufactured," he uninten- 
tionally suggests a somewhat debased theology. For *^manu- 
factured" means **made by hand." The word "humble" is fre- 
quently misused. A man is said to be "of hilmble origin" when 
it is really meant that his parents were poor. A man who is 
only half-hearted in his allegiance to some prophet will say, "I 
am only a humble follower of So-and-so." He really means 
only a "timid" or "unimportant" or "ineffective" follower. 
The most conceited and self-assertive men who habitually speak 
with brazen brow and boastful tongue do not hesitate to intro- 
duce the truculent assertion of their view with the words, "In 
my humble opinion." So do persons frequently say, "What 
for?" when they really mean "Why?" A colleague of mine, 
many years ago, in catechizing the children, wanted them to 
answer that the Apostles were fishing to get their living. In- 
stead of asking, "Why were the Apostles fishing?" he asked, 
"What were the Apostles fishing for?" A surprised and joyous 
shout of "Fish" somewhat upset the moral implications he 
desired to draw. 


Poets are, of course, allowed much license, but when one 
writes of ^^Streams which meander level with their fount," it 
awakens in a scientific age many hydraulic and hydrostatic 
speculations as to how they did it. 

Nothing was more common in the recent war, when a regi- 
ment was cut to pieces and lost eighty per cent, of its effectives, 
for a miserable reporter to say that it had been ^^decimated," 
which is the loss of one in ten. More serious deteriorations 
take place in words of our rdigion, which sometimes witness 
to a decay of force in the Christian conception of life. The 
word ''the Comforter" is now generally equivalent to ''one 
who consoles," when its real meaning is not soft and soothing, 
but strengthening and invigorating. The word "sacrifice," 
which by origin and derivation is positive in meaning — ^"to make 
sacred," "to consecrate" — ^is now almost universally given a 
negative significance, not "the joyful consecration of all we 
have and are to God's service," but "the reluctant surrender of 
what we desire to keep," as when a halfp^my tax was placed 
on tobacco after the South African war, and when every effort 
to get it repealed had failed, men said: "Oh, well, I suppose 
we must make some sacrifice for our country !" There is also 
an almost universal misuse of the words "fact" and "truth." A 
"fact" is, by derivation, "a thing done." A truth is a corre- 
spondence with reality. "Truth" has in it a moral quality 
which is quite wanting in "fact," for facts are non-moral in 
their nature, and only become moral when the soul of an inten- 
tion or an interpretation is added to them*. Much confusion 
in apologetics arises from the indiscriminate use of words. The 
Being of Gk>d is a truth, not a fact. The Incarnation of the 
Son of Grod is a fact. Facts belong to the realm of the phe- 
nomenal: Truths to the noumenal. As long as an immortal 
spirit has to think through the mechanism of a human brain 
its contact with reality must be twofold. It sees facts in suc- 
cession of time and space by the method of scientific analysis. 
It appreciates truths and values by moral affinity through 
mystic vision. "God loves you" is a truth. "Grod gives His 
only-begotten Son for you" is a fact. 

4. The Use of Wobds. — Words may be likened in their 
influence to coins. Some ring truly, when they are the genuine 
expression of a soul's emotion. Some ring falsely, when there 


ia no soul in them. There are dead words, and living words. 
A parrot and a prophet may utter the same words. But the 
word of the parrot is a dead word, and the word of the prophet 
is a living and life-giving word, which bums and kindles. 

Lacordaire says : ^'Have you remarked that there are dead 
as well as living words — ^words that fall upon the earth like a 
spent arrow, and others that fall into the mind like a devouring 
flame? And certainly you have not believed that the difference 
between them sprang from the air, more or less agitated by the 
mechanical force of the lungs. Their difference springs from the 
soul, which is the principle of language. Dead words are those 
which come from a dead soul; living language is that which 
comes from a living soul. When an orator, in a matter capable 
of eloquence, speaks without moving you, when he leaves you 
master of your resolutions, insensible to error or to truth, be 
sure that a soul has not spoken to you. For it is impossible, 
if a soul had spoken to you, that your own could remain a 
stranger to it; it is impossible for a soul to receive without 
emotion the expression of another soul." 

Words are like notes of music ; they may be in tune or out 
of tune. Iscdated, they are merely a pleasureable or painful 
Bound. In combination, they may stir and awaken a soul. They 
may be weak words which have no force, or strong words which 
thnU and compel. Shelley, in his ^^Adonais," his elegy on the 
death of Keats (stanza xlv.), sings thus: 

The inheritors of unfnlflHed renown 

Rose from their thrones built beyond mortal thought. 
Far in the Unapparent Chatterton 
Rose pale — his solemn agony had not 

Yet faded from him; Sidney as he fought 
And as he feU, and as he lived and loved. 

Sublimely mild, a spirit without spot. 
Arose: and Lucan by his death approved; 
Qbllvicm as they rose shrank as a thing reproved. 

And many more whose names on earth are darlc, 

But whose transmitted effluence cannot die 
So long as Are outlives the parent sparlc 
Rose, robed in dassling immortality. 

" Tbxm art become as one of us,'* they cry, 
*'It was tor thee yon Idngless sphere has long 

Swung bUnd in unascended majesty. 
Silent alone amid a heaven of song. 
Assume thy wingM throne^ thou vesper of our throng." 


Or again: 

The one remains, the many change and pass; 

Heaven's lif^t for ever shines, earth's shadows flee; 
Life, like a dome of many-oolored glass. 

Stains the white radiance of eternity. 

Until death trample it to f ragments« 

Words, then» are the material in which a preacher has to 
work, and for the right use of which he needs God's inspiration. 
They are like printer's type. One man will so combine than 
that they will only awaken what is silly or evil in the souls of 
others. Another man will take the same fonts of type, and com- 
bine them into a unity which reveals God's love to man. They 
are like a heap of stones by the wayside. One man of mean soul 
will build with them only a pigstye where he may wallow in his 
lusts, or a suburban villa where he may nurse his own respecta- 
bility. Another man, who has caught a glimpse of the heavenly 
vision, will take the same stones and weave tiiem up into a vil- 
lage church, or some grand cathedral, in which prayer and 
aspiration, petrified in stone, will speak to the passing genera- 
tions, and kindle in their hearts afresh the flame which called it 
into being. Words are like notes of music. From the same 
notes one man will strum out a discord which jars upon the 
souls of men. Another man, stung with an immortal thought, 
will take the same notes and weave them up into an oratorio 
fit to mingle with the angels' song on the hills of Bethlehem. 
The selection and arrangement of words is a great responsi- 


It is most difficult to dogmatize on style in preaching, as it 
must vary with the personality of the preacher, the occasion 
of the sermon, and the character of the audience. All we can 
do is to suggest some general rules which may be found useful 
to the young preacher in forming his own manner of preaching, 
and note a few mistakes which should be avoided. Though one 
hesitates to dogmatize on what must be a matter of taste, it 
is perhaps best to formulate these suggestions in the form of 
rules, which are convenient for reference. 


Rtde» for Forming a Good and U»effd Style in Preaching 

1. The Abkakoement of Wobds. — ^Much preaching has 
to be extemporcy or with very inadequate time for careful com- 
position. It is useful, therefore, for the preacher to form the 
habit of the accurate and pleasant use of language in his ordi- 
nary daily conversation. If in casual talk he insists on disci- 
plining himself in the accurate use of the English language, this 
painful care will soon form a good habit, and will no longer 
worry him, for it will be relegated to the subconscious, just as 
rules for riding a bicycle are ignored when once the habit of 
balance has become instinctive. We shall no longer go in fear 
of splitting our infinitives, or ending a sentence with a prepo- 
sition* But we can never be off our guard. In America, a 
retiring professor of philology, in acknowledging a testimonial, 
summed up the work of his lifetime thus : *^The one lesson which, 
in my long ministry amongst you, I have tried to impress oi\ 
the minds of my beloved pupils is that a preposition or an adverb 
is the worst possible part of speech to end a sentence up with !" 

S. FoBM YoxTE Own Sttle. — ^It is well to read what the 
great masters of literary style have written. But it is neces- 
sary to remember that the style of the preacher must be quite 
different from that of a writer. Sermons which read wdl in 
print are almost always a failure in delivery, and shorthand 
reports of the most eloquent orations are generally very disap- 
pointing ; because the spoken word is alive with the passion and 
personality of the preacher; his eye, his countenance, his ges- 
ture, his attitude, his voice, the pace of delivery, the pause, the 
vehemency gives it a quality which is entirely lost in cold, life- 
less print; and his audience supply a supplementary quality, 
by their sympathy, by their intelligent responses, by the swift 
filling in of that which is suggested but not expressed, which, 
again, finds no place in print. If you wish to preach well, avoid 
a literary style. If anyone wishes you to print your sermon 
give it a literary form by rewriting it. Do not imitate the 
style of another preacher. Preaching is an art so personal 
that each man must evolve his own mode of expression from 
within himself if his word is to be sincere. 

8. Take Pains to Find the Right Woed. — ^Speaking 
in public is a great responsibility. "The power of speech,*' 
writes Behrends, "is man's supreme physical endowment, aa 


the power of thought makes him the crowned and soeptered 
monarch of the universe. If sublimity consists in the employ- 
ment of the simplest agents for the attainment of the loftiest 
ends, then there is nothing sublimer than bringing the triumph 
of righteousness in the earth upon the energy of human speech.'' 

Walter Pater, in his essay on "Style" (p, 127), thus de- 
scribes Flambert's method: "Possessed of an absolute belief 
that there exists but one way of expressing one thing, one word 
to call it by, one adjective to qualify it, one verb to animate it, 
he gave himself to superhuman labor for the discovery, in every 
phrase, of that word, that verb, that epithet. In this way he 
believed in some mysterious harmony of expression, and when 
a true word seemed to him to lack euphony still went on seeking 
another, with invincible patience, certain that he had not yet 
got hold of the unique word.** 

"Good taste," says Aristotle, "belongs to that style which 
is at once full of feeling and clearly descriptive, while the 
words employed are in proper keeping with the subject matter.** 

4. The Ma&ks of a Groon Sttus, — Bishop Dupanloup 
notes these marks of popular preaching. "In the first place, 
clearness. It is needful to make ourselves understood by all. 
Nothing is worse than to pass on one side or above our hearers, 
and to speak without being understood. Popular preaching 
has a language of its own, which is, before all, sharp, dear, and 

"In the next place, vivacity and directness^ the going 
straight to the object, straight to the action inculcated^ 
straight to souls. 

"As a consequence of this, fnovement and warfnth are need- 
ful. Soul must speak to soul, and heart to heart. 

"Besides this, simplicity, even familiarity are necessary, 
but never to the point of vulgarity ; it should remain always in 
a certain measure of dignity, and even of elevation.** 

"Style may be defined as proper words in proper places** 

"A pure style in writing results from the rejection of every- 
thing superfiuous." "There is nothing in words and styles but 
inevitableness, that makes them acceptable and effective.'* 

5. Attend to the Law of Rhythm. — Since the preacher 
has not only to instruct but also to please, if he is to persuade. 


he must try to make his speech beautiful not only by the depth 
and splendor of his thought and the wealth of its adornment, 
but also by the harmony and rhythm of its expression. The 
same thoughts may be expressed in a combination of words 
which form a discord and jar upon the mind, or in words which 
form a harmony and please the mind. 

It is difficult to say wherein lies the beauty of perfect 
speech; but we may notice that there is in the universe a law 
of riiythm, a harmony of parts. Though we cannot define it 
we can discern it. Though we cannot explain it we can recog- 
nize it. We see it in the dance, and call it grace of movement. 
It speaks to us in architecture as justness of proportion. We 
hear it in music as a harmony of sound. We see it in nature 
as a harmony of color and of curve. So in language there is 
a rhythm which seems to be in harmony with the rhythm of our 
nature. I am unskilled in esthetics, but the mystic realizes 
that there is a heart-beat in the universe to which the beat of 
our heart responds. Dr. Pratt, in his great work on ^^The 
Religious Consciousness," thus speaks of the law of rhythm: 
^^Rhythmic action is one of the most fundamental characteris- 
tics of the human mind. In fact, as Herbert Spencer has pointed 
out, it is not confined to the mental sphere, but dominates all 
life, and much even of the action of inorganic nature. The 
processes of the human body are a series of complex and inter- 
reUted rhythms, and these affect the whole background of con- 
sciousness and color all our thoughts and feelings. They 
range all the way from regular and rapid processes, such as the 
heart-beat, up to the more or less irregular recurrences with 
time spans of weeks or months. Our mental life not only is 
deeply affected by all these physiological processes but carries 
the principle of rhythm still further, imitating constantly the 
swing and return of the pendulum as long as life lasts. Hunger 
and satiety, sleep and waking, exertion and repose, excitement 
and relaxation, enthusiasm and indifference, follow each other 
with almost the certainty, if without the exact regularity, of 
day and night and the revolving seasons" (p. 165). 

It ii to this instinct of rhythm that so many French writers 
owe the beauty of their style. It is not merely to vivacity of 
thought and felicity of plurase, but to this instinct of rhythm 
that they owe their grace of speech. As it cannot be defined, so 


it cannot be taught by rule* But if this law of rhythm is really 
the heart-beat of God, then His grace will purify and refine 
our speech if we sincerely desire to speak the Word of Grod. 

6. OuB Sttue Should be Fobcible. — ^Anaemic speech is 
the expression of anemic faith. If we realize that we are 
preaching the Word of God, by whom the worlds were made, 
we shall try to give it a vigor of expression worthy of the great- 
est power in the world. ^^No won! from Grod shall be void of 
power." Behrends, in a fine passage, attributes force of style 
to intensity of conviction. 

(i) Style (p. 69) : *^The secret of devotion is the secret of 
a forcible style. There is a higher teacher than textbooks on 
rhetoric and logic. You will do well to master these, but if you 
let them master you your most careful composition will lack 
the intensest vitality. Preach as you would talk to a friend on 
the theme of which you are full. Elevated thought will weave 
its own royal robes; strong thought will always flash out in 
terse phrases. The mistake is to think out the sermon as you 
write it. It should have been thought out before a line was 
written. The rule is a universal one, that he who is master 
of himself, whose thought assumes the form of profound per- 
sonal conviction, will find it comparatively easy to cultivate a 
clear and forcible utterance. 

(ii.) Cowoictiofk, — ^'^You insist that it is the preacher's 
business to know his Bible, and to interpret the mind of God ; 
but it is in the primary and necessary deliverances of your 
rational and moral nature that the conviction of God's exist- 
ence forces itself upon you; you can understand your BiUe 
only in personal experience of its redemptive revelation; and 
you can know with certainty the mind of God only as that which 
has mastered your own reason by its inherent rationality. 
When you transcend the bounds of personsd conviction your 
speech is empty and impotent." 

7. Cultivate Vabiety of Style and of Pace. — ^The 
preacher has to deal with such a variety of subjects that it 
would be fatal if he had only one style in which to treat them. 
His subjects are sometimes awe-inspiring, terrible, or majestic, 
and demand an elevated style in which words and sentences are 
sonorous, resonant, or full of solemnity, like the tolling of a 
bell. This style will demand a slow and dignified delivery. 



Here it may be noted that in discussing style in preaching we 
cannot separate it from pace in delivery. For the value of 
words depends largely on tone and pace in delivery, just as 
the same notes on a church bell, by variety of combination 
and pace in a funeral toll, or in a marriage peal, can tune our 
souls either to the solemn thoughts of death, or to the joy of 

So in narrative we should paint the object of that passion 
which we wish to raise in the most natural and striking manner, 
and to describe it with such circumstances and detail as are 
likely to awaken it in the minds of others. If we want to convey 
a sense of peace and security in the love of God, we shall use 
words of a soothing sound, and the pace of delivery will be even 
and leisurely, like the course of life in times of peace. If we 
want to awaken the sense of urgency in our appeal, the words 
chosen will be exciting and stimulating, like the clang of a fire 
alann ; the style will be broken, and the pace quickened by an 
ever-growing crescendo, till we get the effect of a rhythmic 
galloping of horses. 

We note, too, a distinction in style between the appeal 
to the reason and the appeal to the heart. If you want to 
conjure up a picture in the imagination of your hearers you 
will paint it in just detail, coolly, and at leisure. But if you 
are appealing to the heart you will paint it in a few splashes 
of flaming color, with rapidity, and in ardent tones. Appeals 
to the heart must be carefully timed. If emotional appeals 
are too prolonged a reaction inevitably occurs. But no rule 
can regulate these variations in style except one. They must 
be the natural expression of a soul which is habitually sensitive 
td the movements of the Holy Spirit. 

8. Mistakes to be Avoided — (i) Avoid Long Sentences* 
— Sentences excessively long strain the attention. It is a useful 
exercise to take some turgid and ponderous composition and 
break up the involved periods into their equivalent in short 
sentences. In criticizing the report to the Archbishops on 
^'Christianity and the Industrial Problem," Dr. Chadwick says : 
''Much of the writing is very involved. In one sentence I find 
101 words, broken by two commas; in another, 14S words, 
divided by two semicolons ; in a third, 180 words before we reach 
a full stop" (Church Times, January S, 1919). If we compare 


this turgid style to the style of the Grospels or of the works of 
Mr. Blatchford, whose writing in his earUer books was a modd 
of staccato style, crisp, detached, distinct, and pointed, we 
shall learn to become intelligible. 

(ii.) Avoid Difficult Wardi. — ^It is said that the British 
working man has a vocabulary of only eight hundred words, and 
prolonged attention to his conversation suggests that these 
include only one adjective! But, in any case, the preacher 
should avoid difficult and technical words ; or if these are used 
for the sake of rhythm they should be followed by a paraphrase. 

(iii.) Avoid a Flamboyami Style, — ^By which we mean a 
style so rich in -meretricious ornament that the mind is dis- 
tracted from the vital thought which is seeking expression. Mr* 
H. G. Wells, in describing the arrival of a flamboyant lady, 
writes : ^^I must admit that Lady Beach-Mandarine was almost 
as much to meet as one can meet in a single human being, a 
broad, abundant, billowing personality, with a taste for brims, 
streamers, pennants, panniers, loose sleeves, sweeping gestures, 
top notes, and the like, that made her altogether less like a 
woman than an occasion of public rejoicing." This may serve 
for a description of the exuberant or flamboyant style in 

(iv.) Avoid hoth Exaggeration and Escesnoe Cautiof^ — 
The person who habitually exaggerates destroys his own credit 
and the meaning of words. It is painful to see how the multi- 
plication of superlatives diminishes the force of words, untQ 
the American who wants to say that something amused him can 
only express his meaning by saying that ^St tickled me to 
death." The constant use of exaggeration destroys the value 
of a man's word, and persons soon learn to discount his every 
statement. But if exaggeration exposes a man to many a 
wound on the battlefield of debate, it is much to be preferred 
to that excessive caution which never arrives on the battlefield 
at all. There seems to have grown up a habit of excessive 
caution in speech which tends to make it almost worthless by 
its under-statements. It began at our ancient universities fifty 
years ago. It was bom of a conscientious desire not to over* 
state the truth ; it ends in such an under-statement as fails to 
present the truth at all. It was bom in the controversies of 
university professors who are excessively afraid of bdng 


laughed' at in their common-rooms, and it spread to those 
episcopal utterances which give such an uncertain sound that 
no one prepares for battle. But the disasters of a caution 
which nervously fails to seize an opportunity are far more seri- 
ous than tiie rashness which oversteps the mark. Almost with- 
out exception in the parables of our Lord the lost are lost for 
what they left undone. 

This style of scientific caution flings out clouds of paren- 
theses, like the ink of a cuttle-fish, and revels in double nega- 
tives. Instead of saying, ^^Those who commit mortal sin will 
go to hell unless they repent," they say, ^^I trust that I may 
be allowed to venture to suggest that if anyone commits mortal 
sin — ^if any sin can rightly be characterized as mortal, a point 
which has been much disputed among theologians for many 
centuries — and if he fail to repent, it cannot be regarded as 
wholly certain that he will go to heaven." ^ 

Instead of saying, "I believe in one God," they cautiously 
modify this bald statement into some such form as this : ^^ ven- 
ture to suggest, without for a moment wishing to impose my 
opinion upon men of other temperaments who may see the 
subject from another point of view (quot homines, ioi senr 
ientiai)^ and fully allowing for that element of symbolism which 
enters into all use of language and much modifies its meaning, 
I venture to suggest that it is not wholly improbable that there 
may be one God." Or, more shortly : **I venture to think that 
the universal conviction of mankind that there is a God is 
not wholly without foundation." The double negative will take 
you far on the way to render all language meaningless ; but if 
you want to be absolutely secure, and are willing to sacrifice 
truth to preserve your pride from criticisms which might wound 
it, you may make yourself invulnerable by putting the double 
negative in the form of a question. This, in the best Oxford 
style, would run : *^Are we fully convinced that, when all things 
are considered, there may not be something to be said for the 
suggestion that the right is not wholly identical with the 
wrong?" Your pride is securely entrenched against all criti- 
cism. If anyone accuses you of believing in conscience, you 

^ As I write this passage I read in the OuardUm, Angnst 19, 1921, of 
Dr. Foakes Jackson's speech to the Modernists: "To some extent he left 
open tiie possibility that they recognised that there was something more 
to be said on other sides T 



answer crushingly: ^^I was not expressing my own opinion; I 
was asking for yours." Any contradiction can be met by say- 
ing that ^^all things have not been considered" ; or if some wildly 
romantic Modernist accuses you of belief in morality, you can 
evade the charge by saying that you were only asking whether 
that point of view might not be held, and were by no means ex- 
pressing a conviction of your own on a difficult matter on which 
you are not yet wholly clear. Instead of crudely saying, ^ 
agree," it is safer to say, ''Is it necessary to quan^ with those 
who hold?" etc. Instead of using the abrupt, categorical, Saxon, 
plebeian statement, ''I see," which irrevocably commits you to 
a definite belief, it is safer to say : ''May we not consider it as 
not wholly untenable to think?" etc. Thus the clarion notes 
of Christian conviction which awakened the soul of the world 
and raised the dead are modified into weak and timid expres- 
sions of tentative opinions and "points of view" and "atti- 
tudes of mind" ; and the truth is betrayed. 

The foregoing may be tinged with that exaggeration which 
is allowed to parody. But I am anxious to protest against 
that exaggerated and excessive caution which has enervated 
the vigor of British eloquence, and robbed much preaching 
of its force of conviction and its power to persuade. We must 
learn to avoid the double negative. 

(v.) PardOeUsm, Refram, Repetition^ and Parados. — 
Hebrew poetry owes much of its charm and its force to the 
parallelism of its verses, by which the thought of the first half 
is repeated in the seconds so that there is a perpetual swing of 
rhythmic movement, an antiphonal chant, an echo which helps 
to impress the thought upon the mind. Parallelism may be 
used in prose when one part of a sentence balances another. 
"The wages of sin is death : but the free gift of God is eternal 
life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Mr. Winston Churchill, in a 
speech on Russia, says: "Bolshevism is not a policy, it is a 
disease ; it is not a creed, but a pestilence." 
The refrain is familiar to us in the Bible : 
Ps. cxxxvi. : "For His mercy endureth forever." 
Ps. cvii.: "Oh that men would praise the Lord for His 
goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of 
men !" 

Isa. xxviii. : 'Tor it is is precept upon precept, precept 


upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there 
a Kttk." 

Rev. xviii. SI: The words ^^no more at all" are repeated 
six times, until they ring in the mind as the death-knell of 

The repetition of words in a slightly altered form has a 
great effect on the mind, giving it time to absorb the thought, 
and to see the picture. 

Judg. y. 27 : ^^At her feet he bowed, he fell, he lay. At her 
feet he bowed, he fell. Where he bowed, there he fell down 
dead." As you listen to this you see the dying struggles. 

Again, in verse 80: ^^o Sisera a spoil of divers colors. A 
f poil of divers colors of anbroidery. Of divers colors of embroid- 
ery, on both sides, on the necks of the spoil." You now see 
what might have passed unnoticed. 

Paradox should only be used when people are sufficiently 
educated to appreciate this method. But where they, can 
rightly be used they are of immense force, for truth is too 
great to be expressed in direct statement; it is found fully only 
in the heavenly places, where discords are harmonized and ap- 
parent contradiction resolved into unity. Our Lord often uses 
them. '^Whosoever would save his life shall lose it : but who- 
soever shall lose his life for My sake and the Gospel's shall save 

So S. Paul writes : "By glory and dishonor, by evil report 
and good report; as deceivers and yet true; as unknown and 
yet well known ; as dying and behold we live ; as chastened and 
not killed; as sorrowful yet always rejoicing; as poor yet mak- 
ing many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all 
i" {% Cor. vi. 8). 

(vL) Uie Frequent Quesiiom. — ^When a statement has 
been made it often makes very little mark upon the mind which 
is not alert, or which is lacking in attention. But if the 
statement is repeated in the form of a question to which it will 
be the appropriate answer, the mentality of hearers is awak- 
ened, and their own heart formulates the answer, and the state- 
ment comes back to the preacher as the people's own contri- 
bution. Compare the mental effect of these two forms. The 
statement: "You ought to receive Holy Communion because 
communion with God is the life of the soul, and our Lord com- 


manded it." The question: *^Why ought you to receive Holy 
Communion? Can the soul live without communion with Grod? 
Did not our Lord command it?" Questions skillfully developed 
stimulate the soul into its highest activities, soften dogmatism, 
arrest attention, secure the active co-operation of the reason, 
and help to give truth an abiding-place in the mind which 
has appropriated it for itself. It is a useful study to work 
carefully through the questions which our Lord constantly 
addressed to His Apostles. 

(vii.) On Occoiiotu he Expa/mive, — ^In our anxiety to 
avoid the extravagant or flamboyant style, we may go to the 
opposite extreme and allow ourselves to become tame and in- 
sipid. But some of the subjects we deal with are most majestic, 
and full of splendor and awe. They cannot be expressed in 
the neutral tints of suburban respectability, in the tones of a 
five o'clock tea table. They need strong color, vivid contrasts 
of light and shade, rich and splendid imagery, a stately and 
majestic movement like the march of kings. So, when the 
occasion requires it, we must overcome our timidity and self- 
consciousness, and treat majestic subjects with the bold sweep 
of lofty and generous phrases, as one should who is gazing on 
the far horizon of eternity. Heaven must not be treated as 
though it was an enlarged edition of a villa at Upper Tooting, 
and the music of the spheres in tones of a super-five-finger exer- 
cise on the piano. We must occasionally break through the 
convention of an overcrowded, mechanized, stunted, impover- 
ished, anaemic life, and seek adventure on the mountain top of 
the sublime. Two verses from Kipling will explain what I 
mean by an expansive style. 

Budyard KipUng in "Seven Sea^' 

And those that were good shaU be happy: 

They shall sit in a golden chair; 
They shaU splash at a ten-leagued canras 

With brushes of Comefs hair: 
They shall find real Saints to draw from:— 

Magdalene, Peter, and Paul; 
They shall work for an age at a sitting 

And never be tired at all ! 


And only the Master shaU praise ns. 

And only the Master shall blame; 
And no one shall work for money, 

And no one shall work for fame. 
But each for the joy of the working. 

And each in his separate star 
Shall draw the Thing as he sees It, 

For the God of Things as They are! 

(Tiii.) B£WAB£ OF Mdced Metaphors. — ^Metaphors are 
most useful adomments to speech, but when used they must be 
developed with consistency. It is fatally easy to mix them. I 
heard the greatest orator of the last century, W. E. Gladstone, 
mix a metaphor when, on the death of the Duke of Clarence, he 
said in the House of Commons that *Mt had pleased Ood to cut 
short the thread of that young life before it had blossomed 
into bloom. 

Mr. Lloyd George, in speaking of France and Silesia, is 
reported in The Times (May 19, 1921) to have said: ''All 
shades of opinion in the three countries take the same view." 
Fancy a shade taking a view ! 

And Benedetto Croce, in his controversy with Labriola, 
pillories his opponent for saying: ''The manifesto . . . does not 
shed tears over nothing. The tears of things have already risen 
on their feet of themselves, like a spontaneous vengeful force." 
"The tears," says Croce, "which rise on their feet may make 
the hair rise on the head of a man of moderate taste" (note on 
p. 129, "Historical Materialism and the Economics of Karl 
Marx," by Benedetto Croce). 

A. — ^Bishop Dupani^oup 

We may conclude this section by some words of Bishop 
Dupanloup, which summarize the subject, and by some esti- 
mates of great orators and Newman's description of a poet, 
which together will indicate points to be valued in the formation 
of a good style in preaching. 

Style (p. 18) : "Lively, clear, and correct ideas, striking 
from their truth and good sense; solid but simple reasons; 
short, concise, and incisive sentences ; the style which is called 
direct, in which one multiplies interrogations and personal 


appeals ; in which one does not say ^en' bat 'yea/ in which 
one avoids speaking abstractly, but addresses the listener him- 
self directly/* 

Personal Convictiofk, — ^In other words, men must see and 
feel that the speaker is himself deeply convinced and really 
penetrated by the truths he preaches, and that he has a fervent 
desire to press them on others. 

The preacher should always be grave, full of authority, of 
goodwill and of dignity. 

In Composition. — 1. Keep yourself always in the presence 
of your audience. 

2. Have an immediate and well-defined object, and wish 
strongly to attain it. 

3. Do not depend too much on written preparation or 
memory, so that you may take advantage of the inspiration of 
the moment. 

4. Speak with brief and easy discourse, according to the 
capacity of your hearers, short and concise. 

5. Study to gain great clearness of expression. To be 
dear, to be intelligible to all, is the first condition of being 
listened to. True eloquence is to speak so as to be understood. 

6. The great secret of oratory is humility. The faults of 
orators spring almost entirely from a secret pride. 

It may encourage young preachers to consider the qualities 
of style which are considered admirable, and the virtues they 
ought to cultivate, if we glance at the estimates of some great 
orators which seem to be true and just. 

B. — ^F^kelon's Estimate of Cicsko akd DsMOSTHsmn 

In his ^^Reflection on Rhetoric and Poetry," which is gai- 
erally published with his "Dialogue on Eloquence," Archbishop 
F^nelon compares Cicero with Demosthenes in a graceful pas- 
sage which has much instruction for a preacher. "I do not fear 
to say that Demosthenes seems to me superior to Cicero. I 
protest that no one admires Cicero more than I do. He enriches 
all that he touches. He does honor to speech. He does with 
words what no one else could do. He has untold wit. He is 
at the same time short and vehement and at all times what 
he wishes to be — against Catiline, against Verres, against An- 
toine. But one notices a certain dressing up in his discourse. 


art is manrelous ; but one perceives it. The orator, though 
thinking of the safety of the republic^ does not forget himself, 
and does not allow himself to be forgotten. Demosthenes seems 
to get outside himself, and only to see his fatherland. He 
does not seek for the beautiful : he creates it without thinking 
about it. He is above admiration. He clothes himself in words, 
as a modest man in his attire, to cover himself. He thunders, 
he lightens! It is a torrent which carries everything away. 
One cannot criticize, because one is borne along. One thinks 
of the things which he says and not of his words. One loses 
sight of then. One is filled with the thought of Philip who 
invades everything. I am charmed with these two orators; 
but I confess that I am less touched by the infinite art and 
magnificent eloquence of Cicero than by the torrential sim- 
plicity of Demosthenes." 

S, ChryiostonL — ^To name him is to name eloquence itself. 
Never has anyone united in a higher degree the talents which 
make the orator. The vigor and sublimity of genius ; a pro- 
digious fertility of the imagination, an admirable talent of 
dialectic ; marvelous sagacity in taking advantage of the small- 
est circumstances; a doctrine, vast and sure; wonderful skill 
in insinuating himself into, and gaining the mastery over, the 
wills of his hearers. An orator truly popular, he is worthy 
to be set before all ages as the most perfect model of Christian 
eloquence, because, on the one hand, one admires in him with 
a most noble character the higher virtues of a real apostle; 
on the other hand, he unites to an admirable doctrine the purest 
taste, and the perfect knowledge of the language in which he 

Boiiuei. — ^He surpasses his predecessors in the sublimity 
and depth of his thoughts, the nobility and profundity of his 
sentiments, the grandeur and maj^ty of his imagery; a cre- 
ative genius, equally admirable for the vigor of his conceptions, 
the form of his reasoning, the* depth of his doctrine. Notwith- 
standing his grandeur and force, he is always simple and 
natural ; if he employs generally familiar expressions he knows 
bowi to uplift and ennoble them. 

MoitiUan. — ^**He recalls Cicero by the sweetness and charm 
and harmony of his eloquence as the force and sublimity of 
Bossuet recalls Demosthenes. He is admirable in the richness 


utd beauty of derelopmeat, in the art of penetrating hearta, 
and in the emotioD which profound]; touches." 

C. — John Hensy Newman on The Poet 

"He writes paasionately because be feds keenly ; f orcibl;, 
becaiue be conceives vividly; he sees too dearly to be vague; 
he is too serious to be shallow ; he can analyze his subject and 
therefore he is rich; he embraces it as a whole and in its 
facts, and therefore he is consistent; he has a firm hold of it 
and tiierefore be is huninous — when his imagination wells up 
it overflows in ornament ; when his heart is touched it thrills 
along his verse. He always has the right words for the ri^t 
idea, and never a word too much. If he ia brief it is because 
few words suffice; when he ia laviah of them still each word 
has its mark and aids, not embarrasses, the vigorons march 
of his elocution. He expresses what all feel, but all cannot 
say, and hit sayings pass into proverbs among his people, and 
his phrases become household words and idioms of their daily 
speech, which is tesselated with the rich fragments of bis 
language, as we see in foreign lands the marbles of Roman 
grandeur worked into the walls and pavements of modem 

in. — ^Illcstsations 

The basis of the use of illustration to develop and cniidi 
our message is in the principle of the Incarnation— **&! the 
beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and tbe 
Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God." 
That Word is immanent in all creation and in human nature. 
He is "the Light which lighteth every man coming into tbe 
woiid." But because men were so deafened and blinded by sin 
that they could not hear that indwelling Word, or see by that 
inner light, "the Word became flesh and dwelt among us." 

So the preacher's first duty ia to be sore that the Word 
he is to proclaim is with God, and is drawn fnmi the heart of 
Deity; and his second duty is to see that the Word becomes 
deah and dwells amongst us. In other words, he has no right 
to present his hearers with naked abstract thou^ts. It is his 


duty to translate the abstract thoughts into the concrete terms 
of human life and to clothe them with the warm flesh and blood 
of human passion and emotion. 

1. The Imagination. — Space will not allow me to enter 
fuUj into a discussion of the nature of the imagination. All 
we can do is to point out that the word is not here used in 
the popular sense of ^^imaginary," which so often means **not 
real," ^^the creation of one's fancy." To my mind the reverse 
of this is the truth. The imagination is the only sanctuary 
of the real, the region of thought which S. Paul calls ^^the 
heayenlies," where, in the relation of subject to object, we 
have our feet firmly planted on the rock of ultimate reidity. 
The real, when it is seen under the changing conditions of time 
and space, is mingled inevitably with some elements of illusion 
which make life on earth so much like a dream. 

So, when we say that a preacher must see his subject with 
his imagination, we mean that he must see it as it really is 
in God's mind, stripped of the illusions which gather round 
a concept as soon as it is conceived in a human brain. 

One illustration will explain my meaning. Look at this 
little child in the slums. It is clothed in a body which is full 
of inherited impulses and innate instincts, biases, predisposi- 
tions ; a body which is ill-nourished, stunted, starved, diseased, 
dirty, and flea-bitten. The body is clothed in rags and tatters, 
which are unclean and evil smelling, the vestments of disease. 
Now, when you have measured and weighed this body, and 
revealed its innermost secrets by the means of the X-rays, do 
you know the reality about that child? No. You are absorbed 
in a nightmare of illusions. You cannot begin to know that 
child until you love him. Love enables you to see him as he 
really is in the bosom of God, where all reality resides. We 
do not deny the relative reality of that poor little flea-bitten 
body. Not at all. It is as real as the corporate sin which 
makes it possible ; as sure as the flame of judgment which will 
devour a civilization which tolerates it. All we say is, that 
to see that child as it really is, you must see it in the imagina- 
tion, the halo of God's love enfolding it, the response of the 
child's love transfiguring it, until its rags and tatters become 
white and glistening, and His voice again declares: **This is 
My beloved Son." Of course, the truth is that we are not 


what we seem to be, but what we desire to be, and what we 
are becoming. 

So, if the preacher merely sees his subject as at first sight 
it seems to be, he will be entirely misled. He will see it only 
through the medium of his own mentality, his prejudices and 
dullness, and earthly-mindedness. But if he will go up into 
Mount Tabor in prayer, then he will begin to see it as God 
sees it, as it is in reality, and as the imagination plays around 
it ; he will see the subject shot through and through with the 
many-colored thoughts of God, glowing with the Divine pur- 
pose, radiant with the Divine glory; he will overhear the 
heavenly conversation as to the Divine purpose; and the whole 
subject will be revealed in a new light. For us, as for the 
Apostles on the mount of transfiguration, it is true: *'Whoi 
they were fully awake they saw His glory." Our normal life 
is the dream, the life of the Grod-illuminated imaginati<m is 
the awakening. 

So, by the use of simile, metaphor, illustration, and anec- 
dote, we shall try to conjure up in the imagination of our 
hearers a true picture of reality* 

*^The first thing necessary is that his arguments may be 
understood. The second thing requisite is that his reasoning 
be attended to; for this purpose his imagination must be 
engaged. Attention is the prerequisite to every effort of speak- 
ing, and without some gratification in hearing there will be 
no attention, at least, of any continuance. The qualities in 
ideas which principally gratify the fancy are vivacity, beauty, 
sublimity, novelty.*' 

**The imagination is addressed by exhibiting to it a lively 
and beautiful representation of a suitable object. As in this 
representation the task of an orator may in some sort be said, 
like that of the painter, ^ to consist in imitation, the merit of 
the work results entirely from two sources — dignity, as well in 
the subject or thing imitated as in the manner of imitation, 
and resemblance in the portrait or performance." 

2. Rules for Illvstkation akd Anscdotb — (i.) Tmtn 
Your ImoffinaHon. — ^If you accustom yourself to think, not in 
abstract terms but in concrete pictures, not of life but of some 
person living, not of sin but of some person sinning, not of 
repentance but of some person repenting, then you may be 


able to illustrate your sermon with something of the matchless 
power of our Lord. Examine carefully, as the highest type of 
illustration, the parable of the Prodigal Son. So far as my 
knowledge extends, there is nothing in aU literature which 
approaches this story as a piece of word-painting to the imag- 
ination. Not one word is wasted, not one word is superfluous ; 
every line of the picture is clear-cut, not blurred or indistinct; 
every color is vivid ; every phrase is rhythmic and throbs with 
passion and emotion ; every stroke is true to our human nature; 
every emotion is powerful but restrained, and commends itself 
to our conscience and reason. What wonder that this short 
story has awakened the memory and touched the imagination 
of mankind and won millions of souls to God? 

(li.) Illustrations Shofdd he Frequent, — ^Knowing the men- 
tality of Englishmen, their inveterate dislike for an abstract 
idea, it is a duty to make every idea incarnate. You tell your 
people that it is wrong to steal ; it makes no impression what- 
ever. But if you proceed to describe a boy who stole, his loss 
of self-respect, his haunting fears, the network of lies in which 
he became involved to cover up his theft, his inability to look 
anyone in the face or to pray to God till he had confessed his 
sin and restored the stolen goods, you have opened the mind 
of every hearer and set every conscience at work. 

On my way to India, in the Nubia, in 1898, every day I 
showed the soldiers pictures of our Lord's life. I sat on an 
upturned bucket, with two hundred men around me on the 
troop deck, and held up the pictures and explained them. One 
day, after explaining about the dying thief, I returned to my 
cabin in the depth of depression, wondering whether it was 
worth all the nervous strain. A sergeant looked in at my cabin 
and said: ^^Don't be discouraged about your work, sir; it is 
already having effect. After you had shown them the picture 
of the dying thief a lad brought back to me a pair of trousers 
and half a sovereign which he had stolen from my bunk." ^ 

(iii.) Proceed from the Known to the Unknown. — ^In trans- 
lating the abstract into the concrete, in making thought in- 
carnate, we must proceed from the known to the unknown. 
Your hearers have a limited stock of personal experience, 
mostly confined to the home, the streets, the works, and the 
football field, and their accompanying rdationships. This is 


the material on which you have to draw. T%e Yorkshire min- 
era took no interest in the Great War at first. ^^It's nowt to 
me," they said. But when they heard that the Grermans had 
broken in and sealed the shaft of a Belgian pit, knowing that 
the men were at work below and would be buried alive in that 
awful tomb, a thousand miners enlisted the next day. The 
abstract idea of iniquity had become concrete in terms they 
could understand. 

So our Lord drew His illustrations invariably from the 
familiar circumstances of domestic or village life. As a quaint 
rhyme says, which is quoted in an admirable little book, *^How 
to Preach," by E. Tyrrell Green : 

He spoke of lilies, vines, and corn. 

The sparrow and the raven; 
And words so natural yet so wise 

Were on men's hearts engraven. 
And yeast and bread and flax and cloth. 

And eggs and fish and candles. 
See how the whole familiar world 

He most divinely handles. 

(iv.) They Should he CarefuUy Chosen. — ^Illustrations 
should never be used which appeal only to low motives, or con* 
vey false conceptions of Grod and His methods, or are capable 
of being interpreted in various ways. Perhaps the worst exam- 
ple I have ever come across, which combines in a unique manner 
the qualities most to be avoided, and is at once improbable, 
silly, and immoral, is given in several Roman Catholic books 
of instruction under the title of "The Virtuous Page." I sum- 
marize it to illustrate what should be avoided: 

"The virtuous page of S. Elizabeth of Portugal was accused 
by another page to the King of sinning with the Queen. The 
King, mad with jealousy, arranged with the master of a lime 
kiln that, if on a certain day he should send to him a page 
to ask Vhether he had executed the King's command.^' he 
should seize him and cast him into the furnace. The virtuous 
page sent with this message to the lime kiln passed a church, 
heard the bell for the Elevation, stayed for two more Masses. 
Meanwhile the King, becoming impatient, sent the accusing 
page to the master of the lime kiln to ask Svhether he had exe- 


cuted the King's command P' He was promptly popped into 
the furnace ! The virtuous page then executed his commission 
— asked Whether the King's order had been executed.' Answer: 

Moral (as given in the textbook) : Shows you how God 
blesses and protects those who assist devoutly at the Holy 
Sacrifice. (Note by P.B. : It shows also the complete divorce 
between ethics and religion, and that Providence blesses disobe* 
dience and the neglect of duty. It is well calculated to corrupt 
every errand boy.) 

(v.) They Should be CarefuUy Developed, — ^In speaking 
to an uneducated audience it is often necessary to develop the 
picture in every detail, with appropriate reflections, and the 
moral pointed out. But if the audience is alert, vivacious, and 
educated, a few rapid strokes which give the vivid outline of 
the picture is enough. For the more you leave to the imagina- 
tion of the audience the better pleased they are. Teaching is 
at its best when it secures the active co-operation of those who 
are learning, and allows them to fill in the outline. The con- 
scientious thoroughness with which some preachers develop 
their illustrations, supplying ponderous reflections and point- 
ing every moral, leaving nothing to the imagination of their 
audience, is almost as irritating as the careful explanation of 
a joke. Good word-painting supplies a bold outline and leaves 
as much as possible to be filled in by the intelligence of the 

(vi.) Anecdote Should he Based on Fact. — ^The Eastern 
mind is so wanting in the historic sense that it readily accepts 
and interprets "story-telling" woven from the imagination. 
But the Western mentality is so literal and so firmly based on 
history, asks so constantly, "Is it really true?" "Did it really 
happen?" that it is taking an unfair advantage of the trustful- 
ness of one's audience to invent appropriate illustrations unless 
one warns them that it is a parable. The whole moral and 
emotional value of an incident is for us Westerners that it 
really did happen, and a preacher who ignores this presupposi- 
tion imperils his reputation for veracity. It is therefore most 
desirable to keep a notebook in which to record matter which 
may be useful in illustrating one's sermons. 

(vii.) TA^y Should be Probable, — ^The mind is much dis- 


tracted if an illustration or anecdote seems either highly im- 
probable or not in harmony with experience. 

One generous and expansive preacher quite destroyed the 
effect of an address to boys in East Ixmdon by an imperfect 
illustration of faith. He wished to illustrate tiie response of 
the human heart to the unseen mysteries. He said that in 
Victoria Park, on a very foggy day, he had met a boy holding 
a piece of taut string, and asked hhn what he was doing. '^I'm 
flying my kite/' the boy answered. ^'But how do you know it is 
there when you can't Aee it?" '^Because I can feel it pulling," 
said the boy. This illustration or reminiscence might have 
passed muster in a West End drawing-room, where they know 
nothing about real life. But, unfortunately for the argument, 
the East End boy at the age of twelve is an expert in life, a 
convinced agnostic, and profound sceptic. The immediate 
comment was: **The preacher can't know much about kite- 
flying, or he would know that you can't fly a kite on a foggy 
day, because there isn't any wind." And the rest of the day 
was probably spent in discussing the preacher's truthfulness, 
and whether any faith could be placed in his word. 

Again, when ^^the bare and leafless trees in the winter which 
leap to life at the first touch of spring" is used, as it has been, 
to illustrate the Resurrection, it does much harm. Every child 
knows that, if the tree was really dead, it wouldn't leap to life 
at the touch of spring. This fllustration could only support 
the "swoon theory" of our Lord's Resurrection. 

Be careful, too, in every detail of an illustration. When Mr. 
E. Phillips Oppenheim, in "False Evidence" (p. 1S8), makes 
the hero, describing his struggle with a poacher, say, *'We 
rolled over and over in a fierce embrace, his teeth almost meet- 
ing in my hand which held him by the throat," the thrills of 
the conflict died down into worrying speculations as to the 
exact position of a poacher's teeth, until I was reluctantly 
forced to the conclusion that the author had fully justified the 
title of his book. 

(viii.) Keep a Preacher* $ Notebook.-^The following hints 
may help young preachers to adopt some method in preserving 
material which may be useful in expanding or enriching a ser- 
mon. Each man must have his own method, but the following 
has been found useful : 


(a) Use a ^^Looie-Leaf** Notebook. — ^This will enable you 
to discard material which is no longer useful, and it will save 
copying out extracts which you want to use, as you can take 
them for use in a sermon and replace them. 

(b) Make Immediate Entry. — ^Precious things are often 
lost unless entered at once. 

(c) Enter Extracts from General Reading^ such as biog- 
raphies, history, travels, science, and the daily papers. 

(d) Analyze Good Sermons. — ^If you analyze the best ser^ 
mons you read you will gradually accumulate a store of sermon 
outlines which you may want to develop later on. 

(e) ^Record Useful Phrases. — Such phrases as "The soul 
is dyed the color of its thoughts,'' or "The Son of God became 
the Son of Man in order that the sons of men might become the 
sons of Grod," sum up the truth in a crisp form, and it will come 
in useful. 

(/) Enter any Thoughts which strike you as worth record- 
ing. The mind varies amazingly in its activity and retentive- 
ness. Sometimes a whole train of true and useful thoughts 
follow in rich expansion. At other times the mind is a blank. 
Store up in prosperity what you will need in adversity. 

(g) Make Your Own Textbook. — ^A priest, in keeping his 
ordination vow, reads through the greater part of the Bible 
once or twice in the year. If he makes a rule of entering any 
text which may be useful, he will find it a help when he wants 
a keynote to some subject. 

(h) Write down Analogies and Illustrations. — When you 
go round the factories, mines, mills, or workshops where your 
people work, you will note many points in the process of their 
work which will illustrate Divine truth, and provided these 
are accurately described they wiU please those who hear some- 
thing which they thoroughly understand. Accuracy is essen- 
tial. The town priest of Sabbatarian principles who came as 
a curate to a country parish, and insisted that cows ought 
to be milked twice on Saturday so as to save Sunday labor, did 
not impress the congregation of farm laborers exactly in the 
way he intended. 

(i) Index each Entry. — Often the catchword of the index 
win bring to your mind the whole incident to which you wish 
to refer. The following is half a page of such an index : 



4IS. Jew and Modemiflm. 

414. Rashdall on Conscience v. 


415. Protestantlim in Germany. 

416. Liberal Judaism. 

417. German Prisoners and Con- 

scientiouB Objectors. 

418. England and American Dates. 

419. Y. M. C. A. Evidence. 

420. Acton on Liberty. 

421. Acton on Trutli. 

422. NietBsdie 

428. Other-worldliness. 

424. Half-time Priests. 

425. Psalm of Kaiser's 'Abdication. 
425. Sandwich Man and Salvation. 

427. Foch and Victory. 

428. March Past of Wouided. 

429. Labor at Albert HalL 

480. War Bond Thanksgiving. 

481. Archbishop of Athens on Mar- 


482. Ethical Society and J. Macabe. 

488. Lady on Strikes. 

484. Clutton Brock on Art. 

485. Lon^ Sentences. 

486. Separations Reconciled. 

487. Convocation Resolution on War. 

488. Spartacus. 

489. S. Sophia at Constantinople. 

440. Confession not Taught 

441. The Star of Bethlehem. 

442. Dean Henson: Contempt for 

Bishop's Inhibitimis. 
448. Clutton Brock on Dogma and 

444. French Review on Instruction 

on Atonement. 

445. Dog's Guard of Dead. 

446. Bishop Henson on Obedience to 


447. Jews in Christian Unity. 

448. Rev. R. J. Cohu on The 

Church, etc. 

449. Jews and Hindus in Church 


It is useful to keep certain subjects of study, upon which 
you should accumulate notes, and the analysis of really impor- 
tant books, in a separate index from anecdotes and illustra- 
tions. When beginning to preach it is well to remember that 
if you can give useful and interesting instructions on the Creed, 
the Catechism, and the Liord's Prayer you will lay the founda- 
tions of a really useful ministry of God's Word. If the notes 
on these subjects are accumulated under definite headings and 
indexed under C, which stands for Creed and Catechism and 
kindred subjects. — e.g.: 

C 1. The Use of Creeds and their History; 

C 2. I Believe— Perscmality— Credence— Faith; 

C S. God as Father— Providence — Absolute Values; 

C 4. God as Creator — the Ideal World and the Phenomenal; 

C 5. Christology — ^the Person and Work of the Son of God, etc — 

and if, on the loose-leaf system, you are constantly adding 
appropriate extracts from your reading and notes from your 
meditation, you will soon accumulate a mass of material, some 
of which may be useful when you have to instruct on these 


We give a specimen page from a preacher's notebook, in 



which, under the index letter E, are gathered notes on econom- 
ics, ethics, education, social subjects, analysis of books, etc.: 

E 1. The Unemployed. 

B 2. Improved Output and Fatigne. 

E 8. Bismarck and Democracy. 

E 4. Dogma, Justification of. 

E 5. Figgis: "City of God." 

E 6. The Virgin Birth. 

E 7. Natural and SupematuraL 

E 8. Modernisms Its Fallacies. 

E 9. Education, Principles and His- 
tory of. 

E 10. McDoagaIl'8 '^Social Psy- 

Ell. The ChriBtian Doctrine of 

E 19. Dialectic. 

E 18. 'The Glass of Fashicm." 

B 14. Pratt's ''ReligiouB Con- 

B15. Analysis of ''Control of 

E 16. Neo-Malthusianism, 
E 17. Eugenics. 
E 18. Venereal Disease. 
E 19. Adolescence. 
E20. Analysis of "Business and 

B21. Analysis of ''Christianity and 

the New Age.** 
£22. Extracts from "The Soul of 

E28. Morals and Religion. 
£24. "Mysticism and Logic," by 


IV. — ^The Deliveet of the Seemon 

We have now come to the last part of our work, the delivery 
of the sermon. It is a subject which must not be neglected, as 
many a well-constructed sermon is spoiled by being delivered 
in a faulty manner. It is a subject much discussed whether 
the Press has not superseded the Pulpit, and made preaching 
unnecessary. It is true that the great development of print- 
ing, and of the power to read, has much modified preaching. 
But I do not think anything except insincerity will destroy the 
power of the spoken word. For a word spoken may have in it 
a quality of personality which the printed word can never 
have. Oliver Onions, in ^^A Case in Camera" (p. 200), makes 
a journalist say: 

'^I won't say that I had never thought of this before. But 
one thinks of all sorts of things which evaporate in the think- 
ing, so that for practical purposes they might never have be^i 
thought. It was his aiergy and certitude and single-minded- 
ness that gave it all its force. And although I am a journalist, 
that is why I think that all our print is cold and dead until 
it is verified by the heard and passionate voice. Oh! I know 
the stock argument — ^that for one who is reached by the human 
voice a thousand are reached by the printed word. Wdl, so 
they are until a contradictory word is printed, and both mev- 


Bages jam to a standstill. But you can't jam the pentecostal 
flames that give the prophets utterance. I am indined to think 
that if there is one indestructible thing in the world it is the 
Uttered Word.** 

Energy, certitude, and single-mindedness give force to the 
spoken word. So, also, in a supreme degree does the personal 
experience of the truth proclaimed. 

Mrs. Herman, in ^'Christianity and the New Age," writes: 

** Vital Preaching. — ^The average sermon does not spring 
straight from life, or make a direct appeal to that mysterious 
deep life that slumbers in man. Comparatively few preachers, 
indeed, speak out of a spiritual experience so dynamic that it 
creates its own message, as it were, and speak in the sure con- 
viction that deep in the hearer's soul lies the hidden seed, the 
inward witness, that can respond to the message. There is a 
good deal of thoughtful and impressive preaching, a good deal 
of able reconstruction of the historical background of texts, 
of practical application, persuasive appeal, and suggestive re- 
flection ; but one seldom feels that the preacher is speaking of 
that which he has seen and known and his hands have handled, 
and that his words are words of life, words kindling life, words 
that have hands to grip and feet to pursue. The preacher's 
sense of the fact that the stolid, conventional assembly sitting 
before him was created for the express purpose of drinking 
deep of the very life of God, that in each soul there is some- 
thing waiting to be bom, something so potent that it needs 
but a touch to set it free, seems to be weak and fitful. 

''The truth of the matter is that until we have recovered 
that deep experimental knowledge of God, lacking which neither 
preacher nor priest has any right to his office, it is futile to 
argue about sacraments, or, indeed, about anything else. 

"Once the preacher speaks out of his intimate experience, 
and speaks not to the crowd but to the soul, with an individual, 
dynamic, spiritual accent, there will be no occasion to talk 
of the failure of the Church. For the failure of the Church 
is bound up with the failure of individual discipleship, and 
where there is no life the sacraments are a delusion." 

It is, then, most clear that words are dependent on the way 
they are uttered for much of their meaning. It is so with all 
sound. The notes of a piano may be as soulless as a barrel 


organ if a person touches them who is only thinking about his 
fingers. But I have once seen Benno Moisovitch sit at a piano, 
and in a few moments lose his self-consciousness in absolute 
absorption in his art, and then pour himself out in one of the 
most sublime works of Tschaikovsky, until souls were shaken 
out of their 3traight-waistcoats of convention, and liberated 
from the narrow circle of selfishness to stand outside them- 
selves in ecstasy, and from the mountain top of the sublime to 
live for a moment in rhythm with the infinite and eternal. And 
yet it was the same piano and the same notes which in the 
one case gave the impression of a barrel organ, and in the other 
flung open the gates of eternity. This will indicate the spirit 
in which the following rules for the delivery of a sermon should 
be read. Full instruction can only be given by a person speak- 
ing with the living voice. But a few rules may, at least, indi- 
cate the direction in which progress may be made. 


1. Lose Youk Self-Consciousness. — ^A public school and 
university education tends, by its excessive criticism, to make 
men morbidly self-conscious. Many preachers are stiff and 
starched in delivery, because they are iJways thinking of them- 
selves, and what other persons may think of them, afraid of 
giving themselves away. If in their immediate preparation 
they unite themselves with God, in whose name and by whose 
power they hope to speak; if their preparation has been so 
conscientious that they can venture to say, *'I give them the 
words Thou gavest me," then they can forget themselves in 
reliance on the Holy Spirit's inspiration. **Be not anxious 
how or what ye shaH speak: for it' shall be given you in that 
hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak but the 
Spirit of your Father that speaketh in you" (S. Matt. x. 19). 

2. Speak wtth Unction. — "The chief characteristics," 
says Blair, "of pulpit eloquence, gravity, and warmth united, 
form that character of preaching which the French call unc- 
tion, the affecting, penetrating, interesting manner, flowing 
from a strong sensibility of heart in the preacher to the impor- 
tance of those truths which he delivers, and an earnest desire 
that they may make fuU impression on the hearts of his 


"Unction," says a French writer, "is bom of piety. It is 
the special language of the Holy Spirit who penetrates aU 
hearts with a marvelous sweetness. This gift, admirable and 
divine, this manner full of Grod, which wins and subdues, which 
nothing can resist, which saves more souls than the greatest 
talents or the most eloquent discourse, is never found on the 
lips of an orator whose heart is not on fire with the living 
flames of Christian piety. Unction flows from the interior sen- 
sitiveness to the things of God, from the soul who tastes God. 

"Is your soul withered? Nothing will issue forth from it 
but dead words, which will neither give life, nor kindle in others 
the fire which they lack themselves. The sweet and tender piety 
which breathes in the looks, the voice, and the words of the 
preacher and manifests itself in a burning zeal for the glory 
of God and the salvation of souls finds its nourishment in the 
spirit of prayer, its rule in prudence, its guide in purity of 
intention and its safeguard in humility." 

It is scarcely necessary to add that unction must spring 
from the heart which really rejoices in communion with Grod, 
for that sincerity which is the keynote of all faithful preaching 
forbids us to assume a tone which does not represent our feel- 
ings. The healthy instinct of our hearers enables them, in the 
long run, to detect the difference between the unction and the 
emotion whidi springs from the heart, and the quivering voice, 
and sham ecstasy, and meretricious joy which are assumed as 
artificial tricks of oratory, the distinction, in fact, between a 
prophet and a prostitute. 

3. FoEM A Habh* of Clxab Enunciation. — Clear enun- 
ciation is the secret of audibility in large buildings, and is far 
more useful than volume of sound which only awakens echoes. 
Sound a German "e" after final consonants such as "d's" and 
"t's." Slur "s" almost to "z'' to avoid hissing. Respect your 
"r*s," and, as a rule, allow them a little roll. It is very irritat- 
ing to hear a clergyman asking God to ^^paw down His bless- 
ings on us,'* or to help "the sick and paw," or that "we may 
daily increase maw and maw.*' "More" does not rhyme with 
"caw," but with "sore," though, as you would probably pro- 
nounce this "saw," pehraps illustrations are not very helpful. 

But while good enunciation will avoid slovenliness, it will 
also avoid that painful precisionism which licks every letter as 


it goes by, and mouths words in such a way that the attention 
is distracted from the meaning and fastened on the words 
themselves. For instance, a precisionist wiU conscientiously 
pronounce both "r's** in "dearer" in the verse "the law of Thy 
mouth is dearer to me." I have heard these two "r^s" rolled 
with such precision that it sounded like the rattle of side^^rums, 
and the "law of Thy mouth" was entirely forgotten in one's 
admiration for the skill of the tongue. 

Dickens has immortalized the precisionist in the instruc- 
tion of Mrs. Greneral to Amy Dorrit, in rebuking her for say* 
mg "father," in "Little Dorrit" (Book H., chap, v.) : 

"I think, father, I require a little more time." 

"Papa is a preferable mode of address," observed Mrs. 
Greneral. "Father is rather vulgar, my dear. The word 'papa' 
besides gives a pretty form to the lips. Papa, potatoes, poul- 
try, prunes, and prism, are all very good words for the lips, 
especially prunes and prism. You wiU find it serviceable in 
the formation of a demeanor if you sometimes say to your- 
self in company — on entering a room, for instance — ^papa, 
potatoes, poultry, prunes, and prism, prunes and prism." 

4. Use AppftOFsiATE Gesticulation. — These are best 
learned from a good actor, who will also teach the right use of 
the voice. Where possible, the whole body should be used to 
express your meaning. Once I watched two cats who apparently 
had a little personal disagreement. For three minutes they 
tried to mesmerize one another, using only the eyes and a low 
growl ; and when the psychological moment arrived, these two 
burning bushes suddenly burst into flame — ^backs arched, every 
hair on end, muscles taut, eyes on fire, teeth bared, tails erect, 
standing on tiptoe, the low wail rising in crescendo to a scream 
of hatred, emd a hiss which might have frozen one's marrow — 
and the rest was lost in fireworks. I have never seen expression 
at a higher power, or the spiritual more entirely dominate the 
material. It was a horrible manifestation of fear and hatred 
and malice and all uncharitableness, devil possession. Full 
instruction on Gresture may be found in Louis Calvert's excel- 
lent book, "Problems of the Actor." 

6. Make a Right Use of Youa Voice. — ^Avoid monotony. 
Vary your pitch and vary your pace. Don't be afraid of being 
silent. If you have nothing to say, say nothing; but don't 


say "er-r-r-r^* or **iim-m-in." Silence may conceal thought, but 
^er*r-r^' betrays its absence. Make much use of pauses. They 
are a welcome relief to your hearers, who often are oppressed 
by a continuous torrent of words. In lecturing for an hour or 
an hour and a half to large bodies of soldiers and sailors, know- 
ing that they can only attend fully to a speaker for fifteen 
minutes, I always break up the address into periods of that 
length, give a pause for a stand-^asy and a little genial con- 
versation, and then begin again with full attention. In normal 
sermons Italian preachers, arrived at the end of their first 
point, sit down, mop their faces with a large colored handker- 
chief, spit, take a pinch of snuff, and then, after two minutes, go 
on to their next point much refreshed. This would not be suita- 
ble in the present state of public opinion in England or America. 

But well-timed and impressive pauses at the end of each 
section, and whenever the subject demands it, especially after 
asking a stimulating question, enable the audience to think over 
what has been said. 

Secure absolute silence before you begin to speak. After 
singing a hymn people always want a few mommts in which 
to settle down. If you blow your nose several other people 
will blow theirs, as the force of imitation is very strong. This 
will save interruption later on. 

VI. — ^Drliveet 

The Voice. — It should be, and now generally is, a part of 
a priest's training at a theological college to receive instruction 
on breathing, voice production, articulation, reading, and ges- 
ticulation. If this has been neglected it is worth while to take 
lessons and to ask the help of some trained actor. For the 
actor and the preacher are alike in this : each by means of voice 
and action tries to convey a certain impression to the audience 
and to excite their emotions. They differ chiefly in this, that 
the actor has tried to master the mechanism and technique of 
his art while the priest has not ; and the actor represents an 
illusion as though it were a reality of vital importance, and the 
preacher too often represents the truths of the most vital impor- 
tance to man's welfare as though they were a matter of indiffer- 
ence and had no reality at all. This may be partly accounted for 


by the difference in method employed by actor and preacher, 
inbe actor seeks to move his audience by the display of ^notion, 
by making manifest a vision. He makes no direct personal 
appeal to the audience at all, but seeks to move or excite them 
by conjuring up a vision, by picturing a scene which will convey 
its own lesson and accomplish its own work in the souls of those 
who see it, just as a sunrise or a flower speaks its own mes- 
sage ; but the priest has laid upon him the duty of caring for 
each individual soul, and personally pleading with each soul to 
obey the truth. The actor's art wiU help a priest to display 
the truth with skill, persuasiveness, intensity, and reality. He 
may learn from the actor to manifest a truth in all its beauty, 
terror, or power, and in a way which will convey the impression 
of reality. That is a great point, gained; as it so often hap- 
pens that a preacher mars the beauty of truth by a poor 
presentation of it in inappropriate words, or lack of rhythm, 
or slipshod argument, or slovenly declamation, or careless 
articulation, or bad taste, or faulty construction. On this 
whole subject of the presaitation of truth by the spoken word, 
as contrasted with tiie written word, a preacher may study 
with profit an admirable book entitled, ^Troblems of the 
Actor," by Louis Calvert (published by Simpkins). 

I suppose there is scarcdy a nation in the worid which 
makes so little use of its hands in speaking as Englishmen do. 
The Frenchman speaks with his whole body, and a shrug of 
his shoulders may be enough to sever a friendship or precipi- 
tate a duel. This inability to use the hands in speech may 
be a racial characteristic, a phlegmatic temperament, or a tra- 
dition of self-restraint which conceals the emotion, or the sensi- 
tiveness of a highly-developed individualism, which desires to 
keep a reserve of privacy in the central fortress of the ioul* 
and which feels that the display of emotion gives a man away. 
But anyone who compares an English crowd with a French or 
Italian crowd, will see how we have lost the use of our hands 
in speech. I suppose it is for this reason that the Englishman 
generally keeps his hands buried in his pockets out of harm's 
way, among bunches of keys and coppers. It is a loss in many 
ways if a preacher does not know how to use his hands for 
emphasis or illustration, and it often weakens the force of a 
sermon if the hands are used amiss. It is fatally easy to form 


tmd habits of action while speaking, the *^pumi>-handle'' habit, 
thumping the desk by way of emphasis, the monotonous and 
meaningless sawing the air. I have noticed one great preacher 
invariably clutching his stole as though he were climbing up 
a rope, and I have seen another make his habitual downward 
sweep of his hand at the very moment when his voice waa de- 
scribing our Lord's Ascension into heaven ! Feriiaps it is this 
habit of contradicting with our hands what we are saying with 
our Ups which has inspired many church architects to shut the 
preacher up in little pepper^top pulpits so high that only his 
head is visible. 

But if you watch the hand of a conjurer, in which every 
finger speaks and directs your attention to falsehood instead 
of truth, you see that the hand may be educated to help the 
voice. And every actor knows that the whole body speaks. 
There are gestures of attraction and aversion, of expansion 
and contraction, of emphasis, of determination (the clenched 
hand), of defiance and contempt, of despair, and of confi- 
dence which lend great force to one's words. The right use 
of gesture is a study which cannot well be described in words ; 
it can only be learned by observation of what is appropriate. 
But it is worth while to warn preachers against inappropriate 
action, and to encourage them to study the use which a good 
actor makes of his hands. 


A. — To Illustbatx the Expakbiok of a Tsouoht 

Canon Scott HoUand on **The Underworld of Bdief" in 

"Fibres of Faith*' 

**1. Thb Thouoht. — Jacob aroused from his exile sleep 
says: ^How dreadful is this place! Surely God was in this 
place, and I knew it not.' 

**The Expamteion. — ^Yes. AH over the face of the earth 
strange gray lonely stones, weather-scrawled, wind-eaten, stand, 
dumb and weird, in vacant places, to carry down the long cen- 
turies the records of the moments at which men whose names 
have been forgotten, whose memory has been blotted out, yet 
did, in their own dim days, find some signal given that help 


was near; find scmie word pass in the silence between them* 
selves and that Other; find some reason to set up a token of 
a relationship renewed, of a benediction invoked, of a sanction 
received, of a peril averted, of a peace promised, of a covenant 
sealed, of a pledge taken, of an intercourse established, of a 
communication made and ratified, of a feast that worked 
strange efficacy, of a Power that passed into the blood. 

*^As we come upon these stones, in londy spaces on the high 
hills, or in the heart of big woods at some spot suddenly bare 
and green, or in the brooding silence of solitary plains, we can 
repeat in wonder the emotion which shook our unknown fore- 
fathers in these haunted moments. We quiver again with the 
ancient thrill ; we recognize the touch of some unnamable Pres- 
ence; we are caught into the same mood of breathless expec- 
tancy ; we look round, fearfully, and whisper with Jacob, roused 
from his exile sleep : ^How dreadful is tUs place ! Surely God 
was in this place, and I knew it not' (p. 10). 

"2. The Thought. — ^Man must co-operate with Gk)d. 

**The Expansion. — ^And therefore it makes ever new de- 
mands — 

On his understanding of it. 

On his willingness to pursue it. 

On his alertness to advance with it. 

On his openness to receive it. 

On his strength to enlarge its scope. 

On his courage to trust it. 

^^His co-operation, then, involves him in moral discipline; 
in a training of character; in a probation of loyalty; in a 
testing of spiritual intelligence. Life under the law is a school 
of growing morality'' (p. %4). 

B. — ^Plotinus on Beattty (6th Teactate) 

'^Beauty addresses itself chiefly to sight, but there is a 
beauty for the hearing, too, as in certain combinations of words 
and in all kinds of music, for melodies and cadences are beauti- 
ful; and minds that lift thansdves above the realm of sense 
to a higher order are aware of beauty in the conduct of life, 
in actions, in character, in the pursuits of the intellect; and 


there is the beauty of the yirtues. What loftier beaaty there 
may be yet our argument will bring to li^t 

'^Only a compound can be beautiful, never anything devoid 
of parts and only a whole; the several parts will have beauty, 
not in themselves, but only as working together to give a comely 
total. Yet beauty in an aggregate demands beauty in the 
details; it cannot be constructed out of ugliness; its law must 
run throughout. All the loveliness of color and even the light 
of the sun, being devoid of parts and so not beautiful by sym- 
metry, must be ruled out of the reahn of beauty. And how 
comes gold to be a beautiful thing? And lightning by ni|^t, 
and the stars — ^why are these so fair?" 


**When you consider that professors in each of the above- 
named universities gave of their vast learning to the already 
great mass of erudition contained in this dictionary, you can- 
not fail to see that the book must be the most accurate, most 
carefully edited, most up-to-date of any unabridged dictionary. 
The complete vocabulary of nearly 400,000 words, which com- 
prises the total speech of the English language, is accurately 
defined, and special care is given in marking pronunciation. 
With this book as your guide you cannot go wrong in your 
speech. Carefully executed illustrations are scattered pro- 
fusely through the vocabulary section, and the book contains 
sixteen full-page color plates. Every conceivable department 
germain to the complete grasp of English is covered, including 
ordinary names and places, familiar and unfamiliar quotations, 
legal and commercial information and glossary, foreign terms 
and idioms, the peculiar nomenclature of science — ^indeed, all 
that can be needed for the accurate speech of ordinary man, 
student, scientific scholar, and special investigator is here to 
be found. And all this is included in a book whose total thick- 
ness is t% inches, height 11 inches, weight 8 lbs." 

To illustrate the nauseating effect of excessive superlatives ; 
the exhaustion produced by playing too long on one string ; the 
weariness of accompanying every noun and verb with adjective 
or adverb. A painted harlot loudly proclaiming that she is *^a 
perfect lady" — rprostituticm of language. 





In view of the great changes which the war has wrought 
in the minds of men, it is most difficult at this moment to form 
any sound answer to the question whether sectional addresses 
to men and women, hoys and girls, are worth the labor of the 
special preparation which they involye. It must be recognized 
that we are face to face with an entirely new national psychol- 
ogy, and that judgments based upon the experience of the past 
may be quite wrong if applied at all rigidly to the future. It 
would be foolish for young preachers to ignore the experience 
of older men who have been through the painful discipline of 
years of failure, and who, through much suiFering, have won, 
perhaps, a certain amount of skill and judgment. But if this 
would be foolish, it would be fatal to allow the experience of 
the past absolutely to dominate the provision for the future. 
All students of the science and art of preaching should at every 
point be fully mindful of the fact that in ministering in the 
name of God to immortal spirits we are dealing with the great* 
est dynamic force in the world. Grod is free, and He has given 
some measure of self-determination to man. But as God is 
perfect as well as free, we expect to find some static element in 
the expression of His will, a certain immutability and self-con- 
sistency, such as we find in a good man who orders his life on 
definite principles. In our response to, and co-operation with, 
Grod, we are not dealing with the caprices of an irresponsible 
tyrant, but with a holy and righteous Person who does not 
change in His purpose. 

Mai. iii. 6: 'Tor I the Lord change not.'' 

Num. xxiii. 19: ''God is not a man, that He should lie; 
neither the son of man, that He should repent : hath He said, 



and shall He not do itP Or hath He spoken^ and shall He not 
make it good?'' 

Ps. cii. S6: Of the earth and the heaven ''they shall perish 
but Thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a 
garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them and they shall 
be changed : But Thou art the same, and Thy years shall have 
no end.'' 

Jas. i. 17 : "Every good gift and every perfect boon is from 
above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom can 
be no variation, neither shadow that is cast by turning." 

We worship in God, then, a moral stability as to His end 
or purpose, and an infinite variety as to His means, choosing 
one race to be His agent of revelation, rejecting it when it 
finally refuses to co-operate with His will; at first confining 
His election to one nation, and then expanding His election to 
the universal response of faith in the Catholic Church. 

Our method must be the same as His. We must work un- 
changeably for the one end, the fullest possiUe co-operation 
with the will of God, by keeping sensitive to the guidance of 
the Holy Spirit. But this moral stability as to end can only 
be maintained by a ready adaptability as to means. At every 
point we must be prepared to change our methods, recognizing 
that there is a permanent element in human nature which cannot 
be ignored and a variety of expression which must not be 

We must not be too static, too conservative. This is the 
peril of those who exaggerate the importance of what is called 
''the modem mind," a point of view which may be the best we 
can do at the present moment, but which is generally out of 
date by the time that it is formulated. We must in our meth- 
ods try to anticipate the future, while we do not neglect the 
lessons of the past. 

To apply this to meeting the needs of the new age which 
is dawning from the chaos of war. Are sectional addresses 
and services likely to be worth the labor involved in their 

n. — ^Sectional Euchakibts 

Since acts of worship are the best means of teaching Divine 
truth, they should be first considered. In the past we have 


had Masses for the departed, children's Masses, a late Mass 
for mothers on Monday. Experience suggests that sectional 
Masses are permissible and profitable where the Catholic ideal 
of the whole family of Grod meeting for united worship is 
effectually realized. But if this ideal is never presented to the 
people, sectional Masses may have a disruptive tendency. It is 
desirable for the whole family, father, mother, and children, to 
worship together at the parish Mass as a rule. But where 
social conditions or the lack of accommodation in the church 
makes this impossible, sectional Masses may be useful, if it is 
fully taught and recognized that they are not the ideal. 

May we not say that special Masses are permissible as a 
matter of emphasis — e,g,^ for the departed, for the guidance 
of the Holy Spirit — ^but are harmful if the truth is forgotten or 
neglected that every Mass is offered for the whole C!hurch 
Universal, both for the living and the departed, and for the 
general intention of the whole Church, as well as for the special 
intention of the particular moment? May not the same answer 
be given to the question, "May I not attend Mass at 8 a.m. to 
receive my Communion, and at the sung Mass to offer undis- 
tracted worship?" Answer: **It is permissible as a matter of 
emphasis, but is in no sense a matter of obligation." The 
emphasis on any special activity or movement of the spirit may 
be useful, but the divorce of these movements would be fatal. 

HI. — SscTiONAi^ Addssssss 

What have various classes, ages, and sex in common, and 
in what matters and degrees have they special needs? The 
common factors may be classed as (1) human nature, (2) fam- 
ily, (S) civic or economic, (4) national duties and interests. 

The variations will be along the lines of (1) difference of 
age, (2) difference of sex, (S) occupations, (4) social habits, 
or (5) a special experience of life. It requires much careful 
judgment to keep the balance between these two. It is possible 
so to exaggerate in our minds special needs as to dehumanize 
a boy or girl. The person who only thinks of them in connec- 
tion with a boys' club or Church lads' brigade or scouts' troop 
or girls' friendly society, and neglects the real setting of their 
home and work relationship, gets an artificial boy or girl, and 


will teach them fakdy. He makes the mistake which so often 
leads men of science astray, the disaster of mistaking a legiti- 
niate abstraction for the truth of the whole. 

If you only see a man in his club you will get only a sec- 
tional view of him. If you visit him in his home, and at his 
work, and in his trade union, you will begin to know him as he 
really is. This gives us an important principle to guide us in 
the preparation of sectional addresses; that while sectional 
addresses may rightly deal with some special aspect of a sub- 
ject, this aspect must be seen and carefully related to the whole 
life of the persons addressed. Let us apply this principle. 

IV. — ^Thx Sbxuai. Ikshmct 

The rapid development of psychology and psycho-analysis 
in recent years should be followed carefully by every priest, as 
an acquaintance with what is true in these branches of knoid- 
edge will much help him both in preaching and in dealing with 
souls. But both these branches of knowledge, which can 
scarcely yet be called sciences, are in a very fluctuating condi- 
tion, and their most dogmatic utterances should be received with 
much caution. For, as often happens with those who use the 
scientific method, the carefully guarded and qualified state- 
ments of some master thinker, when he suggests an hypothesis, 
is often quoted as a **law,*' without any of the qualifications, 
by some enthusiastic follower. Anyone who values and rever- 
ences the scientific method, and who has caught from the great 
scientists a passionate devotion to the truth, must be pro- 
foundly shocked by the way in which some persons, who ought 
to know better from their education, will use all the jargon of 
science without any attempt at the exhaustive study which 
alone can justify the use of scientific terms. The abuse of the 
scientific method may be seen in the way they treat abstrac- 
tions. They will make an abstraction for the purposes of 
study. This is quite legitimate. But they then proceed to 
treat the relative truth of this legitimate abstraction as though 
it were the absolute truth of the whole, which it certainly is not. 
For example, the economist of the eighteenth and early nine- 
teenth centuries made a legitimate abstraction, and were al- 
lowed to treat man for the purpose of their study as a money- 


makmg animal, omitting all other aspects of his life. Tley 
then proceeded to mistake the relative truth about this abstrac- 
tion, this economic man, as though it were the absolute truth 
of the whole. They made a Frankenstein monster, and mistook 
him for a real human being, with the disastrous results we see 
around us, a demoralized industry, a depersonalized labor force, 
and a dehumanized plutocracy, with its equally degrading ex« 
tremes of poverty and wealth, its slums and mHlionaires. Now 
science is not to blame for this. It is the false use of the scien- 
tific method of abstraction which is to blame, the dominant 
mental habit of mistaking the relative truth of an abstraction, 
legitimate for the purpose of study, for the absolute truth of 
the whole of our human nature. The present labor unrest is 
largely the revolt of personality against the mere mechanism 
of a scientific abstraction. 

There is a striking parallel between what has brought dis- 
aster in the economic sphere of man's activities with what is 
threatening to bring disaster in the moral sphere. Men make 
an abstraction of one primary instinct, the sexual instinct, for 
the purposes of study. They then become so engrossed in this 
study that they mistake this abstraction for the whole, and 
tend to treat man merely as a breeding animal. The result is 
that men's minds are fastened on one important instinct as 
though it were the whole of our human nature, and men and 
women obsessed by this study, and clothing their conclusions 
in the usual scientific jargon of '^immutable laws," ^'forces of 
nature," etc., seek to reorganize society on the basis of one 
instinct. Those who have to study such subjects as psycho- 
analysis, venereal disease, neo-Malthusianism, and eugenics, will 
be impressed by the unscientific way in which these scientific 
men treat their abstractions, base general laws on unstable 
variables as though they were fixed and immutable, and in some 
cases degrade the august methods of exact science to clothe 
their prejudices in the royal robes of nature. For example, 
neo-Malthusians will base their arguments about food and 
population on mathematical calculations which could only be 
valid if three factors were fixed — ^namely, the food supply, the 
sexual impulse and fertility, and a closed-in water-tight popula- 
tion obliged to live in this island. But each one of these three 
factors is an unstable variable. The food supply by such a 


discovery as Mendel's may be increased a hundredfold. '*Men* 
delism alone will serve for centuries/' says Professor J. A. 
Thomson, in exposing the fallacy of this argument; %y co- 
operation among nations, or by the disintegration of the atom, 
which may at any time be accomplished, it could be increased a 
thousandfold." The sexual instinct can be modified in many 
ways by education, etc. The pressure of population can be 
relieved at once by a rational movement of free onigration. 
But these sectional scientists prefer to break the laws of God 
as seen in human nature and Divine revelation rather than 
break the shipping ''ring." 

Again, if we turn to eugenics we find the same fallacy, the 
tendency to treat man as though he were merely a breeding 
animal, to argue as though this abstraction were the truth of 
the whole. We are frantically bidden to reorganize society on 
the basis of Galton's law at the very time when J. Lewis Bon- 
hote, in ''Vigor and Heredity," can write: "Galton's law, 
though holding true for some cases, has been absolutdy dis- 
proved in certain simple cases of Mendelian inheritance" (p. 4}. 
We give these examples of the extreme insecurity of the 
most dogmatic assertions of some men of sciace, not for a 
moment to discredit their woik, which has been of pricekss 
value in certain directions, but merely to question their infalli- 
bility when they ask us to modify some point of Christian 
morals or of Catholic discipline or dogma. 

So when Dr. Freud or his enthusiastic followers ask us to 
interpret human nature by the one key of the sex instinct, we 
wonder whether this is a legitimate demand, or whether the 
great onphasis on the sexual instinct may not be the e£Fect of 
an excessive abstraction, or the sign of a decadent civilization. 
The chief advocate of this method of interpretation has spout 
his life in ministering to abnormal cases of perversion in one ot 
the most degenerate of the capitals of Europe in an age of 
luxury. His zeal is beyond praise. But specialization in 
science has been carried to such a minute degree of disintegra- 
tion that it is difficult for the specialist to see human life as a 
whole. The high specialist seldom comes into close contact with 
the multitude of wholesome, healthy human beings. The special- 
ist may become obsessed with his fixed idea and see all humanity 
dyed the color of his thought, as a great surgeon in the flush 


of his discoTery may look at everyone with a ^^duodenal ulcer" 
eye. Some other interpretation may be found which will equally 
well or better explain the whole of the fact, for all human 
nature at all time. 

Therefore it is our duty to learn all we can from great men 
of science, but to accept their conclusions, when they conflict 
with our traditions, with much caution. 

Is it certain that this obsession of sexuality which marks the 
literature of our age is really the expression of a natural 
human instinct? Is it not possible, even probable, that this 
excessive attention to matters of sex is due to the repression of 
wholesome instincts and emotions by the mechanization of 
modem industrial life? Are there not many factors at work 
imnaturally to stimulate this natural instinct? Perhaps the 
following may be a more truthful interpretation of the present 

Every child bom into the world has a creative instinct, 
of which the sexual impulse is one manifestation among many. 
This elemental force, this vigor, this ilan vital of Bergson, this 
energy or force of life, seeks expression. Some persons ob- 
viously have it in a greater degree than others. It will mani- 
fest itself in a thousand ways ; it will give a heightened force to 
every instinct and activity ; it will seek outlet in creative indus- 
try, in art, in music, in invention, in discovery, in adventure, 
in sport, in conquest, in achievement. At the age of puberty, 
in response to psychic and physiological development, it wfll 
come up into consciousness. It will interest itself naturally in 
persons of the opposite sex, because they are supplementary — 
Le.^ they supplement either sex with the qualities, tones, emo- 
tions, and outlook in which it is wanting. Since man's nature is 
fundamentally sacramental, this interest in sex will have its 
twofold expression in the body and in the soul. In normal natu- 
ral conditions this will find expression in courtship and mar- 
riage, in which sacramental union of bodies and souls the crea- 
tive impulse will reach its consummation in the procreation of 
children. The whole will be uplifted in the sacrament of Holy 
Matrimony by the grace of Ood, to give this union its loftiest 
expression by uniting it to the will of Ood, and redeeming it 
from mutual selfishness into its true Divine and human social 


This wholesome sexual love differs entirely from sexual lost. 
For lust is self-regarding, while love is altmisiic. Last seeks 
to gratify itself; loTe seeks to satisfy another. Lust begins 
and ends in self-indulgence; love is always self-bestowal and 
self-sacrifice. Lust seeks merely pleasurable sensation; love 
seeks spiritual union. Lust is merely an animal movement of 
the body and its innate instincts; love seeks a sacramental 
union of the whole pa'sonality. Jfk sexual lust only one instinct 
is involved ; in sexual love that instinct is qualified, disciplined, 
and ennobled by many other instincts — ^the paternal instinct or 
instinct of protection, the tender emotion, the spirit of self- 
sacrifice, and the responsibility of a home. 

Now this wholesome consunmiation of a natural instinct 
may be seen happily reaching its fulfillment in a thousand homes 
in Swiss or English villages, where honoraUe labor has disci- 
plined the body and where the Christian religion has strength- 
ened and purified the soul. 

But when you pass from the village life in its daily contact 
with nature to the hideous developments of modem civilization, 
you are no longer dealing with a natural instinct in sexual 
matters. This natural instinct is alternatively repressed or 
stimulated by unnatural conditions. In England to-day a 
million young men in Army and Navy, in shops and offices, 
are unable or not allowed to marry when nature suggests iL 
The sex instinct is repressed in this way from its natural ex- 
pression, while at the same time it is violoitly stimulated by 
many unnatural incentives. By the denial to the young of 
opportunities of wholesome exercise and enjoyment, the vigor 
of youth is turned into erotic channels in the search for 
romance, adventure, and pleasure. Vice is commercialized, and 
immensely wealthy syndicates inflame the sexual instinct by 
every possible means. Unwholesome food and drink and habits 
of life stimulate it. The dull monotony of mechanical work 
closes every other channel in which vigor could find expression, 
and stifles the emotional life of the souL The drab monot<Hiy 
of dreary streets and a degraded architecture kiUs the sense of 
the beautiful, which is the secret of joy and the revelation of 
God. Extremes of poverty and wealth stunt or pervert the 
development of all that is most noble in human nature. And 
then, when they have by a thousand inhibitions and repressions 


forced vigor into erotic channels, men say that we are dealing 
with a natural instinct ! 

Our first duty is to work for such a reorganization of social 
and economic life that the creative instinct may have its natural 
expression; to restore to men a personal interest in their labor; 
to restore the home and family life which has been shattered 
by the industrial revolution ; to restore the land to the people ; 
and to see that every young man and maiden can marry if and 
when they are called to do so, and can make a home. 

But in the meantime we have to do our best to guide souls 
to the right development of this natural instinct under our most 
unnatural conditions, which repress or inflame it. 

From what has been said it will be seen that, where possi- 
ble, sexual instruction should come from mother and father 
through the family tradition. But in many districts the fam- 
ily and the home have practically lost their educational influ- 
ence, and so this duty falls on priest and teacher. The fol- 
lowing rules may be usefully observed: 

1. No young priest as an assistant curate should give 
public instruction on these subjects without full consultation 
with the rector, who is ultimately responsible. 

2, If dealt with in schools, the sexual instruction should 
not be isolated, but should come in the normal course of physi- 
ology, etc. 

8. As ^^repression'' forms unwholesome complexes in the 
unconscious, a wise use of confession to a priest is a great 
safeguard against driving painful thoughts downward into 
the unconscious. 

4. The chief aim of instruction should be distraction and 
flubUmation. By ^^distraction" we mean the art of directing 
energy into other channels. By ^Sublimation" we mean the 
uplifting of this instinct, passion, and emotion on to the high- 
est levels, where they center round the love and the will of 
Qod. The test of the value of an instruction on this matter 
will be that, at its conclusion, the minds of those who have 
heard it will be occupied by high and noble thoughts of romance 
and chivalry, and will be entirely distracted from the lower 
aspect of the subject. 

6. The presuppositions with which we should approach 
the subject are that we are dealing with a dean and whole- 


some activity of human nature, that continence is possible for 
all with sufficient motive, that matrimony is a high and holy 
estate, and that men want to do what is right* 

6. It should be remembered that the whole subject is far 
more concerned with the mind and the imagination than with 
the body. The victory must be won in the control of the 
thoughts. Therefore, direct instruction should be given 
rarely ; heart, mind, and imagination should be well filled with 
other subjects. The chief peril is in the vacant heart. Enthu- 
siasm for foreign missions with its vast horizons, or zeal for 
social reforms, will often so absorb the soul that it will take 
no interest in sexual matters. And as health is best secured 
by those who seldom think of it, and is imperilled by an exces^ 
sive anxiety to win it, so it is with continence. It comes nat- 
urally to those who have found other interests and enthusiasms 
as outlets for their vigor. 

But while excessive attention to these subjects is to be 
avoided, clear and definite instruction is necessary. For we 
are not concerned merely with movements of individual devel- 
opment. The boy and girl have to fed the force of public 
opinion, as from the age of puberty they mix with large masses 
of men and women in pit, and factory, and mill. Public in- 
struction is necessary if public opinion is to be preserved or 


It is desiraUe that every boy and girl from nine years old 
upward shall receive properly graduated instruction on the 
development of the sexual passion and function. In animals 
this is governed and controlled by instinct and various inhibi- 
tions. In a human being it is governed and controlled by con- 
science and reason. If regular and careful instruction is not 
given, the boy has his conscience formed only by the tradition 
of his home and companions at work. The tradition of his 
home may be high or low. The tradition of his workshop or 
office tends to gravitate downward to the lowest level which 
will be tolerated without protest. This is inevitable, for the 
Christian standard of purity makes great demands on self- 
control. Nature equips every boy and girl with instincts. 



emotions, passions, and functions. These, if they are left 
merely to their natural expression, will not attain of their 
own accord to the Christian standards of self-control, but will 
tend downward to the animal level. The Church has to correct 
this tendency by instruction, and by supplying those motives 
which wiU sublimate these passions. Grace is not contrary to 
nature; it takes the natural and purifies, exalts, and trans- 
figures it. Christianity does not demand the dimination, but 
the transfiguration or sublimation of passions. It aims, not 
at the killing of natural impulses, but at their consecration. 
But since all men have their natural passions, and only some 
men have the grace to discipline them, it is obvious that. deteri- 
oration of moral tone is inevitable unless steps are taken to 
prevent it. Huxley says that *^all ethical progress has been 
won by resistance to the cosmic process.'' It is easier for bad 
men and boys to spread corruption than for the good to wit- 
ness for virtue. 

It is, then, a serious neglect of duty on the part of parents 
and of tile parish priest to allow boys and girls to go out into 
life uninstructed on the inevitable development of the sexual 
passion and function. It is to send them out unarmed an^ 
unprepared for their battie, without shield or sword, to meet 
a most subtle and powerful enemy. The intelligence depart- 
ment of an army has to know as perfectly as possible the exact 
strength or weakness of the enemy; the plans he is forming 
and new weapons he is devising; the poisonous gas and how 
to counteract it; the flame-thrower and how to shield oneself 
against it ; the morale of his army and how to weaken it, and 
how he will try to weaken ours; what reinforcements he is 
expecting and from what direction they will come. So must 
it be with us. We cannot expect our boys and girls to witness 
for Christ if we send them unarmed and unwarned to meet the 
enemy. I once heard a General who was inspecting a patrol 
of cavalry before they started on a perilous adventure into the 
enemy's lines ask the officer in command: **Is every man in your 
troop as well equipped and provided for as you would wish to 
be yourself?" So in the Great War we noted with joy the care 
taken over each single man, to warn him, to train him both 
for defense and attack, to culminate his initiative, to enlist his 
intellig^t interest in the plan of attack, to equip him with 



gas-mask and trench tools to shield him, and with field-dressiBg 
to apply to wounds, to make him skillful in the use of every 
weapon of offense, to care for his morale, to provide amuse- 
ments to give relief from strain, and to cheer him up. We 
must do the same. Every parish priest should be wdl in- 
structed on the physiological and psychological changes whidi 
take place at the age of puberty. He should carefully work 
out the analysis of the temptations which his people have to 
meet. He should know the universal characteristics of tempta- 
tion, as well as the particular and local stimulations. This 
knowledge will suggest, I will not say the right remedy, for 
this might imply the expectation of failure, but the right virtues 
and motives to cultivate which will conquer temptation and 
shield the soul. 

VI. — ^PuBBaxT 

1. The Phtsical Changs. — ^At the age of puberty a 
change takes place in the body by which new powers become 
developed. Every intelligent and wholesome person will be 
puzzled by this development and have a right curiosity to know 
what it means. If the meaning of this change is not plainly 
taught them by those whom they trust and reverence, thou they 
will learn its meaning from unclean lips of evil companions, and 
what might have been a holy mystery will have become an 
unholy secret. Let us note : 

(1) The material or the occasion is the consciousness of 
the possession of new powers. 

(2) The mental attitude is curiosity as to their meaning 
and purpose. 

(S) The method of the I>evil is to surround these with a 
whispered secrecy which suggests that they are unclean. 

(4) The strong line of Christian common sense is to ex- 
plain openly and plainly their nature and purpose. 

This openness destroys the glamour of romance which 
clothes a secret, and will make imclean talk about holy things 
repulsive as wdl as dulL The well-instructed child knows all 
that the evil-disposed can tell him, and knows it cleanly; so 
that a wholly legitimate curiosity is satisfied. 

This instruction used to be imparted by the paruits in the 
home, and gradually absorbed in the discipline and experience 



of family life. But the modem development of industry has 
largely destroyed family life. The father is away from home 
for the greater part of the day. In towns the children are 
herded in vast schools, where iJie infection of evil as well as 
good is immensely increased. We must recognize that in many 
districts the f anaily life has lost its educative influence. The 
home has become in many districts little more than a refectory 
for meals and a dormitory where one sleeps. The whole trend 
of modem life has been to substitute the herd for the family 
instinct. Therefore, harassed and overworked parents are less 
aUe than in former times to build up a wholesome moral tradi- 
tion. The responsibility rests witii increasing emphasis on 
teacher and priest. The age demands carefully graduated in- 
struction which will satisfy legitimate curiosity as to the birth, 
the development, and the meaning of life. 

But it is a great mistake to treat the time of puberty 
merely as a development of the physical powers ; it should be 
recognized as being at the same time a psychical crisis. 

S. Ths Psychic Chanob. — ^At puberty, the soul, as it 
were, becomes weaned. It begins to realize its independence. 
It is no longer content to live merely on authority, just to 
believe and do what it is told. It desires to make decisions of 
its own, to begin to realize its independence. The first period 
of a child's life is one of storage and association and co-ordi- 
nation of impressions. It is dominated by the activities of 
perception and memory. But with puberty it becomes increas- 
ingly self-conscious. There is a growing desire to realize one- 
self. It is a period when boys, from this fuller self -conscious- 
ness, become shy and clumsy and awkward, a nuisance to others 
and a puzzle to themselves. There is a tumult of thoughts and 
feelings rushing through brain and heart, a period of storm 
and stress. The world is seen in a halo of romance, the dawn 
of creative love. As has already been said, the soul which 
arrived only equipped with the will to live, in the discipline of 
home and school has learned the will to live with others, and 
now the will to live with others becomes the will to live for 
others. When this is crowned with the wiU to die for others 
the evolution of the soul will be perfected, as the will to live 
has become the will to love. It has been well said ^^to love'' 
is the perfect tense of the verb *Ho live." 


May we not say, then, that this is the most generous period 
of the soul's life, the dawn of the altruistic feeling? We note 
the pride of the working boy or girl at being able to do some- 
thing to support the home, their joy at being entrusted with 
responsibility for others, Ihe care of younger children, their 
ready response to call for serrice or self-sacrifice, thdr desire 
to protect or champion others, which with boys is the first 
impulse to ^Valking out'' and courtship. It is the age of 
romance and chivalry which responds to calls to self-sacri* 
fice. It needs an outlet for energy in activity; it yearns for 

If this analysis of the change which comes with puberty is 
true and valid, addresses to boys and girls who are passing 
through tlus crisis should make a strong and vivid appeal to 
the imagination. They should have in them the elements of 
romance and adventure. They should stimulate thought while 
they guide it into right channels. They should always present 
a high ideal to the imagination while they appeal to the loftiest 
motives of the will. Teaching should be positive, not negative, 
a call to victory, not merely a warning against periL 

Instruction on purity should always be positive. Purity 
is not merely a negative, the absence of what defiles ; it is posi- 
tive, the consecration of one's whole being, body, soul, and 
spirit, to the worship and service of God 

A boy must be taught in his daily prayers to offer himself, 
body, soul, and spirit, to God; that he was made in his Bap- 
tism a member — ^that is, a living part — of Christ, because CSirist 
wants to use his heart to love what He loves, his lips to speak 
His words of life, his hands to do His works of mercy; that 
each member of his body is a sacred vessel in the tmple of 
the living God. When the splendor of positive consecration 
has been fully realized, the warnings against anything which 
would spoil the offering of himself to God fall into thdr right 
place. But teaching which neglects tins positive virtue, and 
teaches only the terrible penalties of sin, appeals only tp a 
boy's self-regarding motives, which are not strong oiough to 
restrain his passion for adventure, experiment, risk, and ro- 
mance. In other words, **safety" does not appeal to the gener- 
osity of boyhood so strongly as the call to ^self-sacrifice." In 
my own experience among venereal patients I noticed that the 


daily witnessing of the most appalling spectacles of destniction 
did not restrain the hospital orderlies from sin. Redemption 
cannot be wrought by fear alone ; it can only be accomplished 
by love. 

Instruction on the whole cycle of physical development 
from birth to puberty, courtship, marriage, and so again to 
birth, should be given with profound reverence as describing a 
beautiful and tender process of God's wisdom, but without an 
air of mystery or of emotion. It should be given with the cold 
and passionless precision of a surgeon, who has to sterilize 
himsdf from passion or emotion if he is to operate success- 
fuUy. Preachers who deal with the subject of purity with an 
air of mystery, and in an atmosphere charged with emotion, 
only awaken unwholesome feelings in their hearers. It is 
better to leave the subject alone unless it can be taught with 
adequate knowledge and in a spirit of detachment. 

A parish priest ought to know quite clearly what are the 
persons, places, and things which are the occasion of sin, or 
the contributory causes of temptation in his parish — defective 
and feeble-minded boys and girls the influence of a bad public 
house or dancing saloon, the shops which secretly supply bad 
literature or indecent postcards. Our warfare is not merely 
with the natural weakness of man's fallen nature. Vice has 
been commercialized. Large syndicates are engaged in the 
destruction of virtue and the stimulation of vice, and have 
covered the land with a network of evil whose subtle working 
must be carefully watched and boldly exposed. The priest who 
is content to be ignorant of these efforts is not able to shield 
his flock. 

But while it is necessary for a priest to have this knowl- 
edge, it must be used with discretion. It is wise to consult 
with doctor and lawyer before taking any public action. But, 
with this precaution, addresses to men may often be used to 
create an intelligent public opinion on moral questions which 
help to create a high standard of civic righteousness. To give 
one illustration, I havd heard Father Dolling, at S. Agatha's, 
Landport, address a meeting of 400 men, and read out a list 
of the most respectable owners of property who were deriving 
their income from houses which were being used as brothels. 
He began with a short explanation of the law on this subject. 


He then pointed out to the audience that the solicitor of one 
of these owners was sitting in the front row taking shorthand 
notes of what he said; then the list of names was read out» 
and the iniquity of the whole system was exposed. Of course, 
after such addresses there was much blustering and threaten- 
ing of legal proceedings. But this came to nothing, and the 
district was gradually cleared of centers of evil. 

VII. — Genekal Notes 

1. New Factoes. — ^A preacher must be on the lookout for 
changes in the lives of those to whom he speaks which may 
very much affect their mental outlook and attitude toward 
religion. He should try to estimate the probable effect of the 
war on the men of his congregation. Boys have been taken 
away from home and herded together in vast crowds ; they have 
learned to some extent the insignificance of the individual; 
they have been caught by the grip and sway of the herd in- 
stinct ; they have seen something of the mixed good and evil of 
the Army system ; they have probably gained a deepened sense 
of duty to the common life by the recognition of the necessity 
of leadership, by conscious devotion to a high ideal, and by 
the expectation of courage and heroism with which popular 
feeling surrounds sailors and soldiers, a faith which so often 
creates what it believes in. They have probably had their 
modesty injured by the foul conversation which always prevails 
when men are herded together apart from women and children, 
and by incessant lectures on venereal disease, not always given 
by men who wished to encourage efforts after continence ; prob- 
ably acquired a loose conception of the rights of private prop- 
erty which comes from the constant use of things in common — 
e.g.^ food, blankets, clothing, tents ; probably had their powers 
of application and steady work injured by the habitual waste 
of time which military methods seem to involve (this does not 
apply to the Royal Navy, whose methods and discipline culti- 
vate strong habits of active work) ; they will probably brini;^ 
back from the Army an intense loathing for everything which 
is connected with compulsion. Probably we shall find a very 
wholesome dissolution of artificial barriers of class distinction, 
for while many men in the ranks are willing to die for their 


officers in a crisis, this does not imply any deep affection which 
will blind them to the inequalities of the distribution of wealth 
in civilian life. Probably the much admired "brotherhood of 
the trenches" will rapidly dissolve on the men's return to civil- 
ian life. Life in the Army is feudal ; civilian life is plutocratic. 
It would be a mistake to expect that the feeling which created 
brotherhood when men were engaged as a nation, as one body, 
in defeating the enemy of freedom, will survive when men return 
to the invitable class war to which the utterly bestial economics 
of individualism condemn us. There is not and cannot be 
brotherhood between two classes. Capital and Labor, each of 
which is struggling for private gain in absolute disregard of 
the common good. Unless and until industry is nationcdized, 
and has for its supreme purpose the common wealth instead 
of private gain, it is useless to expect brotherhood among men. 
Under the present system of economics much of the talk about 
brotherhood is entirely unreal and savors of hypocrisy. I 
have constantly used the word "probably" because it is impos- 
sible to say what will be the new psychology which the war 
has given us. But clergy who have not served in the ranks of 
Army or Navy should remember that military discipline looks 
very different when it is viewed from within the experience from 
what it seems to those without, and that this order and sym-« 
metry and corporate harmony and force of a disciplined body 
which fascinates the onlooker has a modified charm for those 
whose individuality has, perhaps, been somewhat injured in 
producing the corporate result. 

Again, it must be borne in mind that there is a vast differ- 
ence between the men who have only had a short experience of 
military discipline and the regular soldier to whom it has be- 
come second nature, as may be seen by the charming na%vet6 
which led many private soldiers to write personal letters to 
General Sir W. Robertson, the Commander-in-Chief of the 
Home Army, beginning, "Dear Sir, — May I draw your atten- 
tion . . . " to this or that grievance (DaUff Nerts, January 29, 

2. Addhessfs to Women. — ^It is a mistake often made to 
offer to women in sectional addresses material of a poorer intel- 
lectual quality than that which we give to men. Young women 
are often thinking far more seriously about the problems of 


life than men. The intellectual life of men frequently ceases 
to develop when they leave school, and their reading is largely 
ccmfined to the betting columns of a daily paper. But women 
are inclined to value more highly the education which has 
been so long denied them, and respond eagerly to thoughtful 

It is also a mistake to place all the virtues in sex compart- 
ments. Women have as much courage as men, though it may 
manifest itself in rather different forms. Men are quite as 
sentimental and emotional as women, though they imagine that 
they are severely rational. 

Women have, as a rule, a deeper knowledge of personality 
and psychology of the individual, due to watching and guiding 
the development of children's characters; while men have a 
fuller realization of corporate and social life. Women are far 
more ready than men to take an intelligent interest in economic 
matters. For they have a daily experience of domestic econ- 
omy, questions of prices, and so on. The women buy the food, 
whUe the men consume it as they study the betting news on 
horses and football. 

It seems probable now that, by the wisest political develop- 
ment, women have the vote and are taking a larger share in 
industry and business, that the differences betwe^i the sexes 
which were due to the different environment of their daily life 
will tend to disappear, and that many subjects which were once 
best treated in sectional addresses will now best be dealt with 
in meetings open to men and women alike. 

It is most necessary in view of the women's vote that they 
should be helped to understand the underlying principles of 
civic and national life and the responsibilities and duties of a 
citizen, which have much bearing on the coming of God's 

3. EiJ)ER BoTs AND GiRLs. — ^The changes of which we 
must take account in the lives of boys and girls are partly 
ej^emeral and partly permanent. We may hope that the dis- 
astrous effect of having to employ boys and girls in industry 
at an age when they ought to have been at school will soon pass 
away, with its consequoit indiscipline and conceit and preco- 
cious development. The prolongation of compulsory education 
in continuation schools will have an immense effect on the men- 


talitj and physique of children at the age of puberty, and 
mast be carefully weighed. It should be borne in mind that the 
boys and girls of to-day are generally far better educated than 
their parents or Sunday-school teachers, and more ready for 
responsibility than we were at their age. It is the age of the 
young. In towns especially, addresses suitable for boys twenty 
years ago are quite unsuitable now. Pains must be taken to 
keep in touch with the subjects dealt with in an advancing 
educational scheme. But it does not follow from the fact that 
many children are studying science that religious addresses 
should therefore be on scientific subjects. Students of science 
often are most thankful that religion preserves for them the 
romantic, artistic, and emotional values which save personality 
from being altogether subject to mechanism. All we would 
urge is that the advance of education should suggest new 
methods of sectional addresses. 

4. CoNPEEENCES. — ^lu most sectional addresses, Bible 
classes, etc., but especially in those for the young, it is most 
desirable to devote some time to the asking and answering of 
questions. Questions asked by the audience reveal as nothing 
else can what is going on in the mind of those who hear, whether 
the speaker's points have been grasped, in what way his mean- 
ing may have been misunderstood, and how far he has convinced 
or persuaded his hearers. But even the asking of questions is 
not enough. Modem boys and girls have a great desire to 
express themselves ; and, from a teaching point of view, a truth 
to which they themselves have given expression sinks far more 
deeply into their souls than a truth which they have merely 
heard from the lips of others ; and the fact that they have for- 
mulated a truth in their own words makes them better able to 
witness to the truth at their work or in their homes. 

The conference satisfies all these needs. It may be held 
alternately with the Bible class, one Sunday devoted to instruc- 
tion, the next to discussing the subject on which they have been 
instructed. Or it may be the regular method of teaching on 
every Sunday. In arranging the quarterly scheme the priest 
or teacher should propose a long list of subjects, some of which 
should be fixed as necessary to the teaching of the Faith or 
by the events of the Church's year, while others are left to the 
choice of the class. Boys and girls especially value this privi- 


lege of choosing some of their own subjects; and teaching is 
more likely to deal with live subjects and to be of more praeti* 
cal use to them if, within limits, they are allowed to choose. 
Perhaps the best method of conducting such conferences is for 
the priest to give a short, clear introduction to the subject or 
instruction on a doctrine, and then to ask for questions or 
comments. If after a sufficient pause there seems any reluc- 
tance to speak, which is so often due to modesty or shyness, 
this may be overcome by asking here one and there another to 
stand up and say what is in his mind, and, if necessary, to 
continue this till each has spoken. Often those who are least 
willing to speak are best worth hearing. The president should 
be careful to be serious and courteous in correcting mistak^i 
views when expressed ; a sarcasm or clever score off a boy who 
has said something rather silly will freeze up the fountain of 
the soul and bring failure. Skill is also necessary in guiding 
the discussion into right channels and keeping it to the point. 
Some may imagine that this method might reduce Church teach- 
ing to the level of a mere debating society ; but, if wisely con- 
ducted, this does not happen. Boys want to ask questions 
and say what is said to them at the works, and air their own 
views. But they are most trustful and want to be taught. As 
one sixth-form boy at a secondary school said to me, **We 
can say what we think about the matter, and then you can 
tell us where we are wrong." 

The teacher should be careful to know his subject, to be 
familiar with the Socratic method of questioning, to be patient 
with the dull, to make the best of each boy's contributicm, and 
translate it when badly expressed into a better form; and he 
must be ready frankly to acknowledge it when he does not know 
the right answer to a question, and to promise to find out and 
answer it next time. 

The old method of an hour's monologue to an apathetic 
class, when the teacher was satisfied with depositing lumps of 
doctrine before a class without taking any effectual means to 
stimulate their appetites, or trying to find out how much has 
really been assimilated, accounts, I think, for much of our fail- 
ure in teaching. But the method of the cpnference stimulates 
interest to its highest point, keeps minds alert and keen, pro* 
vides variation of voice, secures the translation of the teacher's 


truth into the terms and modes of thought of those who are 
being taught, brings truth which has been formulated in the 
study into the mental atmosphere of the office or workshop or 
home, reveals misunderstandings which can be corrected, and 
gives the teacher the opportunity of watching the process of 
digestion by which each mind assimilates the truth. If such 
conferences are followed by essays or analyses written by boys, 
and brought next Sunday, the truths which have been learned 
will be fixed effectually in their minds. There is no need to 
enlarge on the importance of this method of the conference in 
training boys to become intelligent Churchmen, who can explain 
to others the teaching of the Church, and who may in time 
become apostles, evangelists, priests, teachers, missionaries, 
and champions of the Faith. 

5. The Need of Qualified Teachees. — ^Since nearly the 
whole of our ministry makes some demand on skill in teaching, 
whether it be in private conversation with individual souls or 
in public utterance, it seems most desirable that all candidates 
should qualify for the priesthood by taking their diploma in 
education or pedagogy. Englishmen have such a distrust or 
contempt for education that they do not fear to entrust the 
instruction of the young to persons who have no qualifications 
whatever for teaching, and have no knowledge of the science 
and art of education. The unskilled amateur sometimes atones 
for his shortcomings by an all-round development of a manly 
and godly character, and of course the best part of education 
is the infectious example of a good man. But it must be remen>- 
bered that the boys and girls who come for instruction to the 
priest on Sunday are often taught on weekdays by men who 
have taken the pains to become skillful and efficient teachers ; 
and that much of the contempt for Sunday school is due to the 
fact that Divine truth is often put before children in a slovenly 
and slipshod way, while truths of much less importance are 
taught in secular schools with zeal and efficiency. The Church 
must take its commission to teach seriously. If every young 
deacon had to take his diploma in teaching before he was pro- 
moted to the priesthood he would find it an immense benefit in 
his ministry. Whether he continued to teach in a school, or 
gave himself up to preaching work, or heard the splendid call 
to the mission field, he would find c<mstant use for the skill 


he had acquired. In some colonies and missions a priest who 
was a qualified teacher could draw a Grovemment salary. When 
the Church is disestablished it would be a great gain if in every 
large town several priests were attached to the staff who gave 
up their whole time to teaching what are called secular subjects 
in our elementary and secondary and continuation schools. At 
present the priest as a rule only comes in contact with a small 
handful of the youth of a town, a dozen or twenty ^scouts" or 
^'cubs," and so on. But as an ordinary teacher in a day or 
continuation school he would be brou^t into contact with 
large numbers whom he will never meet in other ways ; and, if 
he has the force of character to do so, he would influence them 
for good, whatever the subjects might be on which he gave 
instruction. If he had high qualifications as a teacher, he could 
not be refused because he was also a priest. It seems likely 
that in the future there will be far fewer whole-time priests, who 
will be assisted by priests who earn their living in some other 
^^79 hy ^^tent-making," or as doctors, or as teachers. There 
are some priests on the staff of most of our colleges and puUic 
schools, and secular instruction is not looked upon as incon- 
sistent with their priesthood. It is also much to be desired that 
Religious Orders may arise entirely devoted to this most sacred 
task. In the meantime, much could be done to improve the 
preaching if bishops would encourage their yoimg priests to 
take their diploma in education, the diocese paying the neces- 
sary expenses. 

6. Social Subjects. — ^It is a difficult question to decide 
how far social, political, and economic questions should be dealt 
with in the pulpit. It is clearly wrong to exclude than alto- 
gether, as some would have us do who say that ^religion has 
nothing to do with politics." This gross and scandalous false- 
hood is largely responsible for the loss to the Church of the 
greater part of the nation. For ^'politics" is a word which 
has much changed its meaning since the abandcmment of the 
laiaez-faire doctrine of early Victorian economists. Politics 
now have to do with ninety-five per cent, of the lives of the 
poor. Parliament has much to do with their homes, and sani- 
tation, the schools which fashion the character of their chil- 
dren, the factories where the greater part of their waking lives 
are spent. It regulates their wages, their hours of work, their 



clubs in the public houses ; it settles their disputes, and makes 
the laws which largely regulate their lives. To say that reli- 
gion has nothing to do with politics is to banish Gk>d from 
ninety-five per cent, of the lives of the people. What wonder 
is it if they regard the remaining five per cent, as of no im- 
portance» and the Church as of no influence in their struggle 
of life. This idea is based on a false conception^ both of reli- 
gion and of politics. It treats religion merely as a matter 
which concerns the individual soul, and substitutes an atomic 
pietism for the glorious GU>spel of the kingdom of God; and it 
leaves politics to that steady deterioration which is so marked 
at the present time. We need a new realization of the sanctity 
of our public life, and a new patriotism. As one writer weU 

'^The history of the Anglo-Saxon race is as divine as is the 
history of the Hebrew race, and one of the reasons why modem 
preachers are comparatively powerless in affecting their con- 
temporaries is that they are not, like Hebrew prophets, patriots 
with a deep and divine love for their countn^ and a finn and 
vital conviction that God is controlling its affairs and develop- 
ing its growth.'' 

When it has been realized that it is urgently necessary to 
bring our municipal, commercial, and national life back under 
the dominion of God, then we may suggest the following points 
for a preacher's guidance : 

(i.) The general teaching should at all times emphasize 
that G^ claims the whole of man's life, whether in home, busi- 
ness, commerce, or politics; and that these must be made to 
conform to the great principles of justice and righteousness, 
faith and freedom, fellowship and co-operation. All Christian 
teaching should be related to the kingdom of Grod — that is to 
say, the social and fellowship side of the sacraments should be 
emphasized to correct the prevalent individualistic and atomic 
perversion of the Gospel. 

(ii.) Prayer, and intercession, and the direction of the 
intention at each Eucharist should embrace more than indi- 
vidual and local needs ; and seek God's guidance in all national 
and international affairs. 

(iii.) The parish priest should remember that he is the 
pastor of every soul in the parish, whatever their politics, and 


this win prevent him from using the pulpit for merdy partisan 

(iy.) In cases where the moral issue of righteousness and 
justice is clear he should proclaim Gk>d's will without hesitation 
or ambiguity. 

(v.) In cases where the moral issue is not clear he should 
try to indicate the spiritual principles involved as fairly as 
possible, and exhort every citizen to bring his conscience to 
bear on any vote he may have to give. 

(vi.) In cases which require a high degree of technical or 
economic knowledge of detail which he may not possess he 
should avoid expressing any detailed opinion, and content him- 
self with insisting on the general Christian principles of doing 
to others as we would wish them to do to us. 

(vii.) The ideal use of the Christian pulpit in this matter 
will be to lift politics and economics above the influence of 
party passion, and to relate them to the will of God. The 
Church as a whole should not be identified with any party 
organization. It should be content to supply moral and spir- 
itual dynamic to the right solution of every problem as it 
arises, to expose social evils, and to teach the fundamental 
principles on which a Christian society must be based. 

(viii.) A distinction may be drawn between what is said 
at liturgical services such as the Holy Eucharist, which all 
Christians are obliged to attend as a matter of duty, and at 
which they have a right to worship God without the distraction 
of vexed questions being forced on their attrition, and the 
greater freedom of a special service called to consider some 
social question, such as drink or housing, where the preacher 
may allow himself greater liberty in expressing his own opinion. 
But in the latter case the chivalry of the pulpit, when an utter- 
ance cannot be challenged or contradicted, will place much 
restraint on a preacher's words. An opportunity for discus- 
sion should be given after the sermon in some neighboring 

(ix.) A priest should not deal with difficult economic ques- 
tions unless he has taken the pains thoroughly to master the 
subject. If as a citizen he has strong convictions on a debat- 
able subject he should express them in meetings where he can be 
answered, and not in the pulpit. But even then he w31 be mindfiil 


of his priestly character and influence, and will avoid person- 
alities, the judgment of the motives of opponents, and any- 
thing which will needlessly inflame passion or discord. He 
must on all occasions be sternly loyal to truth, justice, right- 
eousness, and love. 

(x.) Most priests drawn from the leisured classes will be 
conscious that they have to correct in themselves those subtle 
presuppositions of class feeling, which habits of early training 
and school tradition have made immensely strong, before they 
can form a just and impartial judgment. They will also con- 
sider that the poor and ignorant and oppressed have a special 
claim on their championship. 

(xi.) The example of our Lord will encourage priests 
fearlessly to expose social evils. There would have been no 
cross on Calvary if our Lord had confined Himself to mild 
ethical teaching and to a religion which had nothing to do 
with politics. It was when His teaching wounded class pride 
and threatened vested interests that the ruling classes called 
Him a revolutionary and compassed His death. As we pray 
to have strength to follow the example of His courage, so we 
must seek also His purity of intention and His unfailing love. 
Men are realizing more f iilly since the war that to exclude reli- 
gion from its proper influence on our industrial, commercial, 
and political life is to court disaster, and that the principles of 
Christianity are as applicable to industry and commerce as 
they are to the individual life. 

7. Notes on Addresses to Men. — ^The following rules 
may be of use as general principles to be observed in preparing 
addresses to men, though of course many of them have a wider 

(1) Show the way out of sin rather than dwelling on sin 

(2) Do not assume that all or most men have doubts or 
have failed in self-control. Assume rather that these 
are the exceptions. 

(8) Lay hold of whatever is best in man, as our Lord did, 
who saw what was good in each one. 

(4) Always appeal to high, noble, and unselfish motives 
rather than to what is selfish and base —, self-inter- 
est and fear. 


(6) Never allow yoursdf to be guilty of one untrue word, 
or unsound or unfair argument. 

(6) Frankly acknowledge difficulties when met. 

(7) State an opponent's position as fully and strongly as 
he would state it if you were engaged in a public ddiate. 

(8) Appeal to memory, to home, childhood, love of mother 

(9) Aim at teaching positive truths rather than at criticism 
and argument. 

(10) Answer questions by propounding other questions 
which the unbeliever cannot answer. The mistake of 
Christian apologetics is to wait to be attacked. The 
most perfect answer to one question only awakens other 
questions. Christianity does not profess to give an 
answer to every riddle; it only offers to show the Way 
of Life amidst the unsolved mysteries of the universe. 

(11) Claim obedience to Grod and conscience as a right; don't 
ask it as a favor. Don't bribe a man to virtue, but 
offer a challenge to his courage. 

(12) Distinguish clearly between the Church's teaching and 
your own opinion or advice if you advocate more than 
the Church demands. 

(18) Do not shirk the stem side of the Gospel, the awful 
nature of sin and hell. The age is suffering from a 
glut of sentiment. 

(14) Be clear, direct, strong, and simple; use short sen- 

(16) Make large demands on men for self-sacrifice. 

(16) Preach a Gospel of life, not of death, of present salva- 
tion from sin, not of future reward, eternal life as a 
present reality, not a future crown. 

(17) Let reality and experience be a constant witness in 
men's hearts to your words. If in half the address their 
own conscience, reason, memory can say, '^That is 
true," they will trust you sufficiently to accept the other 
half on your authority. 

(18) Be encouraging. Most men fail in virtue from discour- 
agement and weakness rather tiian from evil wilL 

(19) Avoid sentimentality, affectation, and timidity. 

(20) Rebuke fearlessly, but with justice and courtesy. 


(SI) When your hearers cannot contradict or answer you, 
chivalry demands courtesy, self-restraint, and fairness. 


A. — ^The Psycholoot of Boys 

'*The London Boy^* by Kenneth Aghcroft 

^'Highly intelligent, and possesses a keen sense of humor. 
Beneath his flightiness, cheek, and swagger, a high idealism 
lurks, to which an appeal is seldom made in vain. He is tender- 
hearted to a degree, and often surprisingly sentimental and 
emotional'' (p. 18S). 

^'English youth has been giving its all with gallant and 
almost divine recklessness for England's sake. No perils, suf- 
ferings, nor long-drawn misery of discomforts have turned them 
from their purpose" (p. 186). 

**If they are repelled by the Church, it is not by too much 
religion, but too little. 

''They should be asked to accept the Faith, not on the 
ground tiiat they will find it pleasant or helpful, but on the 
ground that it is, as a matter of fact, true" (p. 1S7). 

''The tendency to play down to boys, to catch them by false 
pretenses, is apt to manifest itself in an almost apologetic atti- 
tude on the Church's part. . . . There is no need to approach 
the lads in a deprecatory spirit, as though we were vendors 
of doubtful wares, for when all is said and done the City of God 
is no mean city. She numbers among her ranks the blessed 
Mother of Christ, countless saints, numberless martyrs and 
heroes. The brightest stars of every age have called her 

"To be numbered among her sons is a supreme privilege of 
which no one is worthy, but which our Lord deigns to grant to 
His faithful servants and comrades, and membership in this 
Divine Society raises any East-End van boy to a higher 
aristocracy far than is typified by Eton and Christ Church. 

**Cause9 of FaHare. — 1. Lack of sympathy, knowledge, and 
understanding on part of clergy. 

"S. An unbusinesslike indifference to the claims of ^ciency. 

"S. Our tendency to minimize and to misrepresent the 
Faith and to play down to lads." 



Tie method of the dialo^e is very usefol. It breaks the 
monotony of centuries of monologue. It relieves the strain 
on the attention, and increases people's interest by variation of 
voice, and the change of the position of the head as they turn 
from one speaker to the other. It enables persons to see the 
Church's teaching as it works out in everyday life. It is best 
done by two priests, or by a priest ia the pulpit and a wdl- 
instructed layman in the back pew, who will ask questions or 
raise objections. Tie preacher should announce that the ques- 
tions and answers are prearranged. He should construct his 
own dialogues, with the intimate knowledge of local need which 
faithful visiting will give him. The method may be ruined if 
a foolish spirit of vulgarity or frivolity shocks people's rever- 
ence. Quiet humor is consistent with the dignity and earnest- 
ness which this method of teaching demands. 

C. — ^The Lesbs Labs' Csttsabe 

In 1917 1 was invited to hold a mission for the Church Lads 
in Leeds. I decided to adopt the method of the conference, 
which was originally developed for parochial use by Father 
Harold Ellis, to whom all credit is due for his discovery. It 
would obviously expand 'for interparochial work. So we 
divided the sixty-six parishes in Leeds into four districts, each 
of which was to have a conference of its own in preparation for 
the Crusade. We decided to limit the franchise to communi- 
cant boys ; each parish was to elect one representative for every 
ten (or fraction of ten) boys who were communicants. When 
this election had taken place a letter was sent to every elected 
representative, asking him to consider four questions on the 
Church's work among lads. They were told to make them the 
subiect of earnest prayer for the guidance of the Holy Spirit, 
and to consult with those who had elected them, as while we 
valued their best judgment we did not want careless opinions. 
The conferences met about two months before the mission. 
Each was attended by from thirty to forty boys. I took the 
chair, and the Lay Secretary, Mr. F. Jones, was present. We 
both took notes of all that the boys said. We were the only 
adults present. After a little preliminary shyness the boys 


jBpoke quite freely for two hours. It was as difficult to get them 
to stop as it was to persuade them to begin. We were deeply 
impressed by the high tone of seriousness and spirituality with 
which the boys spoke on these questions. It reinforced my con- 
viction that the average boy is a profoundly religious person 
until he is spoiled by prolonged contact with the mechanism, 
dishonesty, and selfishness of much conunercial and industrial 
life. The result of these conferences is given in the summary 
bdow, in which the boys' own words have been when possible 
preserved. No leading questions were asked, and the promise 
was given that the report of opinions should give no names. I 
also undertook to report whatever was said, whether I agreed 
with it or not, and therefore I am in no way responsible for 
the opinions expressed in the resolutions. Conferences of a 
slightly different nature were held for the sixth-form boys of 
secondary schools and the Grammar School. These were pro- 
foundly instructive in revealing the ferment of intellectual 
unrest and bewilderment which is at work in the minds of the 
more educated boys, and which only a carefully conducted 
conference can reveal. At the close of the Crusade about eight 
hundred boys took the Knight's Oath, which bound them to 
pray and work to bring other lads to Christ. The Crusade 
revealed much faithful work done among the lads by their par- 
ish priests, and also the splendid material they had to work 
on. Few towns in England could produce such a fine body of 
Church lads, so strong and serious and earnest about tiieir 
religion, and so devoted to their Church and their Saviour 
King. I append the summary of the boys' answers in their own 

I. — ^Wht Lads faix awat feok Chueck whek thet oo to Woee: 

1. At large works lads sometimes enter an atmosphere of universal 
filthy talk on sexual matters. Girls and women show them indecent photo- 
graphs and postcards to corrupt them. Older men suggest and encourage 

9. Reacti<m from strictness and discipline; now free to do as they please 
and have money to spend. 

S. Parents indifferent t ''Please yourself." Often set a bad example. 

4. Overwork. Sunday the only free day. 

5. Much sneering at "babies" and ''saints and angels" if they attend 
Church. Many Church lads swear and don't live up to their profession, 
whidk leads to common diarge of hypocrisy. 


e. FooUmII "^weqw" lead to gambling. 

7. DMaUxoB of Church and ChapeL Chapd offers warmer sodal 

8. Bible daases too doll; too modi Old Testament Not connected witt 
seal Uf e as it is or with modem subjects. 

9. Rdigion treated as an nnimportant afterthongbt in schooL 

10. Too complicated choir singing at services, in iHiicfa no one can Join. 

11. In some parishes clergy do not visit dubs or socials; do everytiUng 
for girls and nothing for hoys; are too hard oo a boy who has gone wrong 
with a girl — exdnde him* bat do not try to win him. Some clergy never 
unbend; not interested in outsiders. 

U. Girls. Good girls not allowed out, so decent boys meet chiefly bad 
girls. Girls' influence antagonistic to Church-going. Boys most easily led 
astray are tliose not accustomed to girls' soctety; therefore need of more 
mixed scidals. 

IflL Chief problem: If bad boys and outsiders are never allowed in to 
Cfanrdi dubs and socials, iiow can tticy be won to Chnrdi? Qubs should 
often be open to outsiders. 

14. Some parishes too poor to provide dubs. Could not ridi parishes 
help these with ei^lections? Linked ridi and poor parishes. Too much 
money spent on omaments» such as stained-|jass windows, which might 
be spent on a gymnasiunL 

II. — Thb Rsmedt. IIIw — Cuim An Bmu Cumm 

1. Bible Classes. Sliould be made more interesting less one-man 
lectnresy more questioning and discussion, less Bible, more in touch witib real 
life, more Churdi history, more change: Boys should be ^ven more say 
in dioioe of subjects. Teachers should be interdianged occasionally. Clergy 
should visit ladB in thdr homes more, also teadiers, dse no attachment 
be tw e en tliem. AU boys should be taught on sexual subjects before they 
go to work. Women teachers no good for big boys, as they cannot follow 
up their sports. 

9l Services should be better explained, and boys i^ven reasons for such 
ttiingi as Confession, Incense, and Apostolic Succession, so as to argue 
with Qiapd boys. At one Cfanrdi too much Holj Communion with too 
little explanation of it. A 10 Cdebration for boys who want to lie 
in bed after a week's early rising and overwork. A warmer wdoome wlien 
strange boy attends Church. cSbapels are much more cordial and sodaL 
C Lb B. Bible Class not enougli, as many boys do not want to join Brigade. 
Interparodiial correlation of Churdi dubs is necessary. Boys leave sdiool 
too early and are overworiced. 

flL Mixed boy and girl sodals and concert parties. 

4. Week-nig^t dasses for Lantern Lectures at Id. or Sd., also for wood- 
carving. Guild service wiiich boys could conduct the m s el ves. Dd>ating 
Societies. Dramatic Clubs. Present-day subjects: Church Reform, Social 
Reform. Answers to objections raised by atheists. Some Churdies do not 
remember boys at tiie Front, and when they come home they fed it deeply. 
Earlier Confirmation before going to work. More aggressive recruiting ftor 
Qubs and Bible Classes; invitation cards printed, and each boy to Mng 
another. If a boy doesn't bring another he should be "given the cdd 

0. One suitable priest should be in diarge of all boys' work vwtt large 


IV. — GsTnKG Ladb to thi Mam MzEmrGfl 

1. Church Lada to wear rosette or special batton or 8x>ecial necktie for 
fortnight before the meetings, to attract attention and invite qnestians; 
button preferred. 

2. ''Catch mjr pal'' idea to be insisted on. 

8. Battalion and company parades through streets, with other boys 
alongside distributing tickets. 

4. Pork-pie method. In poorer districts each Church boy to buy a 
8d. pork-pie and invite two outsiders to share it with him at a ]>ork-pie 
feast While eating it, to talk to them about religion and Church, and 
get them to attend a service, after which experience shows that some will 
stick to the Churdi. (Note by Mr. BuH— -Two boys advocated this methods 
In selected districts I believe it would be good. It is the sacramental 
principle, and indudes sacrifice, fellowship, and evangelical seaL Done by 
boys themselves and paid for l^ them, it would have an entirely different 
spiritual significance from clerical pork-pies !) 

5. Church boys should offer to play street-comer dubs at football, etc. 

6. In some districts it would be possible for Churdi boys to visit other 
boys street by street 

Pavl B. Bvxx, C.R. {Ckair ma m). 
FixDX. Joins (80cr0Uuy), 


Pbbhaps I can best conclude this work by a few words of 
warning and sympathy on the trials which beset a preacher's 

1. Nbbtovsnbss. — ^For most of us nervousness in some 
form, either of dread or of excitement, cannot be avoided. It is 
the preacher's cross, which he must be content to bear. The 
mere act of delivering a word which we feel deeply is of necessity 
an exhausting process. The fact that for effective delivery a 
preacher has to unite himself by sympathy with all whom he 
desires to influence or persuade, means that his spirit has, as it 
were, to leave his body and brood over the whole audience. 
Many can trace in their bodily sensations — ^.^., the immensely 
heightened capacity for hearing the faintest sounds, such as 
the turning over of a leaf or a far-off whisper — ^the effect of 
this excitement, this expansion of the spirit. 

Probably this heightened sensitiveness cannot be avcnded. 
The preacher who never suffers this experience possibly never 
exercises this psychic influence. Preachers with nerves like a 
cow may produce only sennons like a lump of dough. 

When nervousness springs from the dread of the criticism 
of those who hear, its remedy is to realize more fully the pres- 
ence of God and always to speak consciously in His Pres^ice. 
Self-consciousness and God-consciousness are as darkness and 
light; as one increases the other diminishes. 

On one occasion a young priest expressed his reluctance to 
preach in the presence of an older priest of some reputation as 
a preacher. The. great preacher told him: *^ou ought not to 
mind my presence when you are going to preach in the presence 
of God.'' And the young priest answered immediately : **Ah, 
yes ; but that is different, for God is not one who is extreme to 
mark what is done amiss." 

But preachers who are censorious and too ready to criti- 
cize others deserve all they suffer from this fear of criticism. 



It is a good rule to pray continuously when you listen to an- 
other preaching, and so make it a co-operative effort for God's 
glory. Nervousness may also arise from fear of failure in a 
work of such vital importance. This must be met by reminding 
ourselves frequently of the promises of God: **The Holy Spirit 
shall teach you in that very hour what ye ought to say" (S. 
Luke xii. 11). Our Lord especially desires that we shall not 
be over-anxious about our life ; and we may well recognize that 
if we have made a faithful preparation we can leave the rest 
to God. 

It is an immense encouragement to us to know that God can 
use failures when often He cannot use success. It helped me 
very much, when I began to preach, to recall how de BeruUe, 
on entering the pulpit on one occasion, lost all memory of his 
sermon, and not a word would come. After painful struggles 
to speak, he was still dumb and then burst into tears. We are 
told that more souls were won by that failure than by the most 
eloquent sermon. 

We ought always to pray that we may be willing to fail if 
it be for God's greater glory that we should do so. It will help 
us to remember that God's strength is made perfect in weak- 
ness, and to repeat with S. Paul : **Vvhen I am weak, then am 
I strong." 

2. EzHAnsTio)7. — ^Those, then, who really put their hearts 
into their sermons will in many cases suff'er from that nervous- 
ness which accompanies the expansion of the spirit to a wider 
range of sensitiveness and the concentration of the heart and 
mind and will on an intense effort. This expansion is generally 
followed by the pain of contraction, which is the reaction after 
a strenuous effort. The contraction of the spirit to its normal 
range of sensitiveness is often accompanied by great depression 
and sense of failure. This seems due to physical exhaustion 
and mental strain. Those who suffer severely from this reac- 
tion may learn the right remedies by noting God's tender treat- 
ment of Elijah (1 Kings xix.) in his hour of depression. A 
quiet place, wholesome food, sound sleep, healthy exercise to 
restore the overwrought physical basis of life — the cave of 
prayer on the mountain of meditation, and the vision of God 
to strengthen and renew the soul. 

It is of great importance to deal rightly with exhaustioUt 


for at such a time moral inhibitions are weak, and a fresh rush- 
ing into activities may lead to disaster. What has been said 
applies chiefly to the after effect of great efforts. But even 
in normal parochial preaching the reaction should be noted. 
For it has been tnily said that the sins of good people come 
chiefly from exhaustion. It may be well here to protest strongly 
against the folly or sin of some vicars who expect young priests 
in the first years of their ministry to preach three or four times 
a week. This inevitably overstrains them, and may lead to 
carelessness in preparation. It is an unfair burden on those 
who find it difficult to speak in public, and it often spoils the 
fluent speaker, who becomes increasingly shallow. 

8. Fluency. — ^Fluency is a gift which requires much dis- 
cipline of earnest study to sanctify it. The master of words 
may soon become their slave if he neglects diligent study. After 
listening to one popular preacher, who held an inmiense audi- 
ence at Leeds spellbound by his verbal eloquence, a Yorkshire 
lady m the audience said : *'Eh ! wasn't it beautiful ! But there's 
nowt to it. You can consume it all on the premises." If God 
has given you the gift of fluency it is not in order that you may 
allow it to dribble away in mere loquacity, but in order that 
you may give more time to prayer and diligent study. 

4. Self-Seekino. — Since preaching is the conveying of 
truth through personality, it is obvious that the preacher's 
power win largely depend on the depth and reality of his com- 
munion with God. Life cannot circle round two centers. If 
the preacher really seeks God's glory he must be indifferent to 
his own. This is, of course, easy in the early years of strug- 
gle, when there may be little glory for anyone. But if by 
God's grace you are able to help souls through this ministry, 
then the danger of the loss of a pure intention arises. Success 
is the preacher's greatest peril, for the legitimate joy over a 
work well done when people are kind enough to express their 
gratitude may easily degenerate into the base love of flattery 
and the eager seeking for applause; the joy of seeing the vic- 
tories won by the Word of God over the hearts of men may 
deteriorate into the mere vulgar love of popularity ; the sym- 
pathetic effort to be in touch with one's audience may lead to 
all those sordid methods of compromise by which a prophet 
may become a prostitute ; the temptation to accommodate the 


Gospel to the prejudices of some one class, to flatter the yanity 
of the multitude and win their ready applause, or to accept the 
cash valuation of spiritual gifts and opportunities of our pluto- 
cratic society and become a priest of Mammon ; to modify and 
explain away the stem demands of the Gospel until the blood- 
stained cross of self-denial has become the gilded symbol of 
a consecrated luxury, and the preacher wins the approval of 
the wealthy by justifying what God condemns. Or in another 
direction to be brow-beaten by the self-assertion of a truculent 
intellectualism, and to accommodate our preaching to the 
latest demands of that gross absurdity which is called the 
^^modem mind/' 

What is this modem mind to which the modernists would 
have us accommodate our teaching by the elimination of the 
supernatural? If we study in contemporary literature the 
modem minds of several generations we note the same char- 
acteristics, the same overrating of the intellectual process by 
which men mistake the relative truth of their intellectual con- 
cepts for the absolute truth of the whole of reality ; the same 
desire to walk by sight and not by faith; the same contempt 
for the simplicity of the Gospel which to-day, as in the days of 
old, is still to the Jews a stumbling-block and unto the Gentiles 
foolishness. The study of several modem minds leads one to 
the conclusion that they are generally out of date as soon as 
they are formulated. The leading characteristic of the most 
recent modem mind, the spirit of our age, is an absurd sub- 
servience to the scientific method of abstraction. The immense 
advance of knowledge in every department of study has neces- 
sitated a minute specialization. The spirit of our age is dis- 
eased by a mental and moral disintegration which results from 
overspecialization, the divorce of science from mysticism, of 
thought from feeling, of the head from the heart, of fact from 

Now there is only one remedy for this disease of the modem 
mind, the fullness of the Catholic Faith. The Catholic com- 
plex of doctrine, discipline, and devotion can alone meet the 
human complex and reunite in a rich harmony of peace those 
activities of the human spirit which Gk>d joined together and 
man has put asunder. 

If, then, our preaching is to be effectual, we must accept 


the Taluations and emulate the courage of S. Paul. We must 
say with him: ^^I am not ashamed of the GU>spel: for it is the 
power of God unto salvation to every one that beUeveth; to 
the Jew first, and also to the Greek" (Rom. i. 16). We must 
resolve with him to preach the Gospel, *^ot in the wisdom of 
words, lest the cross of Christ should be made void." We must 
preach Christ crucified, unto Jews a stumbling-block, and unto 
Gentiles foolishness, but unto them that are called, both Jews 
and Greeks, Christ is the power of God, and the wisdom of 
God. '^Christ Jesus who was made unto us wisdom from God 
and righteousness and sanctification and redemption, that ac- 
cording as it is written. He that glorieth, let him glory in the 
Lord" (1 Cor. i.). This is the only Gospel that can redeem. 

We have dwelt on the perils which beset a preacher who 
loses his purity of intention. We may conclude by suggesting 
the means of preserving a pure intention for Grod's glory by 
the salvation of souls. There is only one way to secure this: 
it is by abiding in Christ. ^'Herein is My Father glorified that 
ye bear much fruit." ^^He that abideth in Me, and I in him, 
the same beareth much fruit: for apart from Me ye can do 

The whole secret of a preacher's power and joy and peace 
may be expressed in one word — ^*4nterpenetration." He must 
try to make his own every word of the seventeenth chapter of 
S. John's Gospel, with its central thought of Divine interpene- 
tration: ''I in them, and Thou in Me." He must pray that at 
the close of his ministry he may be able to say : *^I have given 
them Thy Word." The Word he is to preach is the living and 
life-giving Son of Grod. He must find it first in sublime aloof- 
ness of eternal .communion in the bosom of the Father. He 
must possess it by allowing it to possess him. He must sur- 
render himself to it in order that through him it may become 
again incarnate and dwell among men. He must allow this 
Divine Word to control and fashion his life as well as his words, 
so that it may become in him a fountain of life for all men. 
*^I live ; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me." He must love the 
souls to whom he preaches as our dear Lord loves them. **Thine 
they were, and Thou gavest them to Me." "The words Thou 
gavest Me I have given unto them." 


Absalom, 168 

Abstraction, 280 

Actor, 271 

Acts L, 40, 74 

All Saints, 126 

Allusiyeneas, 146 

Apologetic, 47 

Archbishops* Committee, 88 

Aristotle^ 218, 246 

Art, 107 

Ascension, The, 17, 98 

Ashcroft, K^ 808 

Atonement, 08; 110 

Attention, 198 

Augustine, S., 28, 169, 170^ 219 

Balaam, 2 

Beauty, 278 

Behrends, 29, 67, 246, 248 

Belief, 62 

Bellefroid, F Abb^ 124, 218 

BeruUe, de, 809 

Bible Classes, 806 

Bicyde, 108 

Bigg, Dr., 198 

Blair, 179, 269 

Bonhote, J. Lm, 282 

Bossuet, 184, 867 

Bourdaloue, 188, 166 

Boys, 288, 294, 808 

Bumey, 20 

Calyert, L., 271, 278 

Campbell, 169, 180, 196, 212 

Capital, 806 

Catechism, 171, 187, 266 

Catholic, 7 

Caution, 260 

Channlng, 218 

Chess, 102 

Christology, 60 

Chrysostom, 267 

Cicero, 140, 146, 168, 219, 288, 

Concentric Circks, 62 

Condttsion, 186 
Cmiferences, 296 
Confession, 208 
Coosdenoe, 22, 29 
Consecration, 72 
Cosmic 68, 287 
Creeds, 266 
Criticism, 86 

David, 168 
Davignon, P^re, 166 
Death, 184 
DdiYcry, 272 
Demosthenes, 141, 266 
Dialogues, 804 
Dickens, 271 
Did<m, P^re, 166 
Divisions, 126 
Dogma, 6, 11, 14/., 176 
DunamlB, 6 
Dupanloup, 116, 141, 174, 

Economics, 281 

Education, 97 


EUis, H., 804 

Ethics, 28 f. 

Eucharist, Holy, 92, 94, 278, 800 

Eugenics, 282 

Exhaustion, 89, 809 

Exordium, 141 

Exousia, 6 

Exposition, 22 

Failure, 76 

Fear, 291 

Fear, holy, 82, 84 

FeUowship, 84, 80, 98^ 116, 172, 899 

F^ndon, 176, 266 

Form, 147 

Freedom, 26, 147, 180, 198, 299 

French preachers, 188 

Freud, 282